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ANNUAL BARD FICTION PRIZE IS AWARDED TO EMILY BARTON
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Writer Emily Barton has been selected to receive the annual Bard Fiction Prize, it was announced today. The prize, established last year by Bard College to encourage and support promising young fiction writers, consists of a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester. Barton will be writer-in-residence at Bard College for the spring 2003 semester.
"Adventurous, original, intelligent, and thematically provocative, Emily Barton’s first novel, The Testament of Yves Gundron, combines all the characteristics one looks for in a promising young writer," stated the judges in announcing the selection. "With prodigious self-confidence, she has invented in this work a thoroughly convincing mythic parallel universe. Far from the usual autobiographical first novel, Barton has set for herself a much more difficult challenge — to try, through the medium of fiction, to pose for her readers the largest possible questions about what it means to be alive in a world that craves progress at any cost."
Emily Barton was raised in New Jersey and earned a B.A. degree in English literature from Harvard and an M.F.A. in creative writing/fiction from the University of Iowa. Her short fiction has appeared in Story and American Short Fiction, and her book reviews appear regularly in The New York Times Book Review and Bookforum. Her first novel, The Testament of Yves Gundron (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2000), was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and was nominated for the Guardian Fiction Prize. She resides in Brooklyn, where the novel on which she is presently working is set.
The creation of the Bard Fiction Prize, presented each October to a promising young fiction writer, can be viewed as a continuation of Bard’s long-standing position as a center for creative, groundbreaking literary work by both faculty and students. From Saul Bellow, William Gaddis, Mary McCarthy, and Ralph Ellison, to John Ashbery, Philip Roth, William Weaver, and Chinua Achebe, Bard literature faculty, past and present, represent some of the most important American writers of our time. The prize is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction to pursue their creative goals and to provide an opportunity to work in a fertile and intellectual environment. Last year’s inaugural Bard Fiction Prize was awarded to writer Nathan Englander, author of the collected stories For the Relief of Unbearable Urges (Knopf).
The Bard Fiction Prize is awarded annually to a promising, emerging writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. In addition to the monetary award, the winner receives an appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester without the expectation that he or she teach traditional courses. The recipient will give at least one public lecture and will meet informally with students. To apply, candidates should write a cover letter explaining the project they plan to work on while at Bard and submit a C.V., along with three copies of the published book they feel best represents their work. No manuscripts will be accepted. Applications for the 2003 prize must be received by July 15, 2003. For further information about the Bard Fiction Prize, call 845-758-7087, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.bard.edu/bfp. Applicants may also request information by writing to the Bard Fiction Prize, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000.
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