ANNUAL BARD FICTION PRIZE IS AWARDED TO EDIE MEIDAV
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Writer Edie Meidav has been selected to receive the annual Bard Fiction Prize for 2006. The prize, established in 2001 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 the College for one semester. Meidav is receiving this year’s Bard Fiction Prize for her second novel Crawl Space, set in rural France in 1940s and late 1990s, and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2005). She will be writer in residence at Bard College for the spring 2006 semester, where she will continue her writing, hold weekly colloquia with students, and give a public reading.
The Bard Fiction Prize committee notes that in Crawl Space, “Edie Meidav writes with a confidence and maturity uncommon among young novelists. Her prose demonstrates visible warmth for humanity, in all its breadth and narrowness, even as she takes on the difficult task of bringing to life an repellent character: Emile Poulquet, a fugitive French collaborator who singlehandedly sent thousands of Jews to their deaths during the Nazi occupation.”
In one final attempt to evade justice, Poulquet has returned to his hometown to deliver his last will and testament to the woman who never returned his love. Temporarily adopted by a group of young squatters, Poulquet finds himself on the other side of discrimination, living both physically and metaphorically in a dark “crawl space,” where the living bury their dead and hide their memories.
Meidav takes on important issues in this novel—crimes against humanity, guilt and culpability, the nature of memory and forgetting and forgiveness—and she grapples with them gracefully and courageously, wrapping thorny complexities in surprising, evocative imagery, as when she reveals that the narrator’s hometown “had the beauty you might find in the tight crevices of a fist.”
Edie Meidav’s first novel, The Far Field (Houghton Mifflin), was called “ambitious and distinguished” by the Los Angeles Times and is an investigation of Buddhism, the effects of colonialism, and American blindness. Meidav began The Far Field while a Fulbright Fellowship recipient in Sri Lanka. The novel received the following awards and prizes: the 26th Annual Janet Kafka Heidinger Award for the Best Novel Written by an American Woman, the Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2001 citation, the Village Voice award for Writers on the Verge, and an Emerging Writer award from the Vermont Studio Center. Meidav’s work has appeared in the Village Voice, Conjunctions, The American Voice, Ms., New Letters, Artweek, and other publications. She is the recipient of writing fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Cummington Community for the Arts, Fundación Valparaíso in Spain, the Yeats Institute in Ireland, and the Eisendrath Fellowship program in Israel, and she has served on panels judging submissions to the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, and the Loft Mentor Series. Meidav received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master in fine arts degree from Mills College. She lives in California, where she is director of the MA/MFA program in Writing and Consciousness at the New College of California (San Francisco).
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’s 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 Bard Fiction Prize was awarded to writer Paul LaFarge, author of the novel Haussmann, or the Distinction, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2001).
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 2007 prize must be received by July 15, 2006. For 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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This event was last updated on 09-08-2006