My dear, wonderful friend Carol Lynch Williams has received the PEN Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. It is a $5,000 grant given to an author who writes in a more literary style, but whose works have not received the promotion or recognition that they deserve. You can read about the grant here: http://www.pen.org/page.php/prmID/281
I assure you – Carol deserves this award. I found the timing of the announcement to be rather appropriate given recent discussions about this very subject. The funny thing is, Carol would never say that she writes “literary fiction,” but rather that she focuses on telling a good story, with characters that show depth and a plot that weaves like a fine tapestry. There are layers to her writing, and she can be incredibly funny when she wants to be – which is often.
I want to be Carol when I grow up.
So much of what I learned about writing and being a writer, way back when I started, I learned from her. She was a kind mentor. She was honest and encouraging. I’m very honored to call her my friend.
Carol’s most recent book, The Chosen One, was just released, and it is going to be a much talked-about book. It is the story of a young girl in a polygamist compound who is chosen to marry a man old enough to be her grandfather. She is compelled by her family, but in her heart she knows she can’t ever love this man. The book is powerful, and given all the news in the past about Warren Jeffs and his sect, this will surely strike a note with readers.
It’s just an incredibly well-written book. All of her books are.
And it’s an incredibly good story – literary or otherwise.
So I’m very proud to acknowledge my dear friend, if not just a wee bit jealous, and I hope that I can help to spread the word about her and her marvelous work.