The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society is proud to announce that four of the Gold Medal winners selected in the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition have had their new novels published. The Society will join hands with the Louisiana State Museum to honor Frederick Barton, author of In the Wake of the Flagship; Moira Crone, author of The Ice Garden, Jennifer Steil, author of The Ambassador’s Wife, and J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest.
The event will take place Sunday, August 9, 2015, from 2:30 to 4:30 p. m. at The Cabildo, the historic venue where the Louisiana Purchase was signed, located on Jackson Square.
All of their new novels are receiving exceptional reviews and are wonderful choices for your summer reading. All of the authors are interesting speakers and have had diverse and interesting careers. Each author will discuss his or her new work, read briefly from the work, and take questions from the audience. There will be opportunities to socialize before and after the program, which will start at 3:00 p. m. Their books will be available for purchase and signing. To reserve your books in advance, please call Faulkner House Books with credit card information at (504) 524-2940.
We hope you will joint us as we lift a glass to our exciting array of competition winners.
The event, which will feature complimentary refreshments, is free and open to the
public. We ask that you RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can be prepared with food and drink.
Background on each of the authors and their work follows.
For additional information, Contact:
Rosemary James, email@example.com
Frederick Barton won the Faulkner Society’s Gold Medal for Best Novel for his fourth novel, A House Divided, which examined the contemporary American soul with uncommon insight. Barton’s new novel, In the Wake of the Flagship, is a blistering satire chronicling one man’s battle against bureaucracy and corruption. Basketball coach Richard Janus has found himself interim rector of Urban University, a woefully underfunded public college in Choctaw, Alkansea. After Hurricane Hosea devastates the city, Janus must go to war with the unscrupulous heads of Alkansea’s flagship university, facing down massive layoffs and rabid football fans. The absurdity of the American experience is on full display here as Metacom, the legendary Indian sachem, narrates Janus’s struggle, recounting academic intrigue and hypocrisy with searing humor. Pulitzer Prize winnerRichard Ford says of the book: “Barton has a lot of important human business on his mind in this exceptional novel: race, history, the South, hurricanes, laughter, love, and much more. In the Wake of the Flagship is wonderfully inventive, and addictive to read.“ In addition to his achievements as a fiction writer, which include publication of numerous short stories, Barton is an award-winning essayist, journalist, and film critic Barton founded the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans where he served as Director for many years. He continues to teach in the program and lives in New Orleans, LA.
Moira Crone, who is winner of the Faulkner Society’s Gold Medals for both Novella and Short Story, has published three novels and three books of stories, including What Gets Into Us. Her work appears in Oxford American,Triquarterly, Habitus, and New Orleans Review. Her stories have been selected forNew Stories From The South, five times. In 2009 she received the Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction from the Southern Fellowship of Writers for her body of work. Moira Crone is a fable maker with a musical ear, a plentitude of nerve, and an epic heart for her beleaguered, if often witty, characters. Her previous novel, The Not Yet, is a foray into the not too distant future and what the social structure of New Orleans might easily become, as well as a warning of what lies ahead for New Orleans if the issues, of global warming, rising sea levels, and coastal erosion are not addressed head-on now. It was published in 2012 by Lavender Ink. Her new novel, The Ice Garden, was first a novella by the same name. It was this work which captured the Society’s Gold Medal for Best Novella. Ms. Crone later expanded it to novel length and it was released by Carolina Wren Press recently. Among the creators and also long time director of the MFA program at LSU, Ms. Crone, also an accomplished painter, lives in New Orleans with her husband, bestselling poet and non-fiction writer Rodger Kamenetz.
Jennifer Steil, an award-winning American writer, journalist, and actor was first runner-up for the Faulkner Society’s Gold Medal for Best Novel in Progress in 2012 for her work Chiaroscuro and then won the Gold Medal for the Best Novel in 2013 for the completed work, which has just been published by Doubleday under the new title, The Ambassador’s Wife. A harrowing story from a real-life diplomat’s wife of the kidnapping of the wife of an ambassador in an Arab country. Ms. Steil also is author of The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, An American Woman’s Adventures in the Oldest City on Earth. Published by Broadway Books/Random House), it is a memoir of her experiences as editor of the Yemen Observer newspaper in Sana’a. The book received accolades in The New York Times, Newsweek, and the Sydney Morning Herald. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune chose it as one of their best travel books of 2010, and Elle magazine awarded it their Readers’ Prize. It has been published in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, and Poland. Theatre was her first love. She has a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Oberlin College and worked for four years as a professional actor in Seattle, becoming increasingly frustrated with the limited roles available to women and the dearth of female voices in the theatre world at large. She began dedicating more time to her writing, eventually completing an MFA in fiction at Sarah Lawrence College and a second master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Since 1997, she has worked as a reporter, writer, and editor for newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and abroad. Recent work includes a long piece on Yemen in the World Policy Journal, a Yemen piece for the German paper Die Welt, and several London stories for the Washington Times. After spending four years in Yemen and two years in London, she has relocated to La Paz, Bolivia, where she is lives with her husband, a diplomat, and young daughter.
J. Ryan Stradal won the 2014 Gold Medal for Best Novel for his highly entertaining debut novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest. The story is about a definitive Midwestern dinner, with each chapter telling the stories behind the ingredients—and the folks that hunted, grew, gathered, or stole them—as they find their way to a once-in-a-lifetime five-course meal. Similar to Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge in structure, every chapter, including the final dinner itself, is tied together by the rise to infamy of a young chef named Margaret Thorvald. The orphaned daughter of a Swedish cook and a sommelier, Margaret becomes the mysterious chef behind the most exclusive pop-up supper club in the world, an object of romantic affection, and an elusive celebrity that one character spends nearly a decade trying to meet.
The novel was acquired last year, put on the fast track, and has just been released by Viking. Stradal’s writing has appeared in Hobart, The Rattling Wall, The Rumpus, Joyland, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places. He’s the editor of the 2014 California Prose Directory anthology, associate editor atTrop Magazine, and co-fiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. A native of Minnesota, he’s lived in Los Angeles for 16 years, but still misses “pine trees, freshwater fish, shamelessly heavy food, and Midwesterners, the nicest people in the world.”