University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop Director M. O. Walsh has been awarded a 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize for his novel, "My Sunshine Away."
The novel, which focuses on a teenager who is a suspect in the rape of a girl who lives in his neighborhood. The book has also been recognized by Amazon and Entertainment Weekly, and was on the New York Times Best seller’s list. It was also awarded the Great Santini Fiction Prize.
The novel was selected for the award due to its themes that touch on the meaning of family, forgiveness in the face of violent crime, and its effect on those that are involved.
“These are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most ‘you’ve got to read this’ moments and ‘hand sell’ moments in stores across the South,” organizers said.
Walsh holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Mississippi. Prior to this debut novel, Walsh’s short stories, essays and other work has been featured in many publications including the New York Times, American Short Fiction, Epoch, The Southern Review and Greensboro Review.
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