By Howard Pousner
The Georgia Center for the Book, the Southern Academy for Literary Arts and Scholarly Research at Georgia Perimeter College and the Chattahoochee Review have announced 10 finalists for the 2012 Townsend Prize for Fiction. Selected by a jury of the sponsoring organizations, the panel considered more than 40 books published by Georgia writers in the past two years.
The Townsend Prize is awarded biennially to an outstanding novel or short-story collection published by a Georgia writer during those two years. The prize-winner will receive a $2,000 award and a silver commemorative tray.
The 2012 finalists are:
The prize will be awarded at an April 26 ceremony at Atlanta Botanical Garden. Ann Beattie, author of “Mrs. Nixon and Walks With Men,” who is the Edgar Allan Poe professor of literature and creative writing at the University of Virginia, will give the keynote address.
Created in 1981, the prize is named for Jim Townsend, founding editor of Atlanta magazine, associate editor of Atlanta Weekly magazine (of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and an early mentor to Georgia writers such as Pat Conroy, Terry Kay, Bill Diehl and Anne Rivers Siddons. Previous winners include Kathryn Stockett for “The Help,” Ha Jin for “The Bridegroom: Stories” and Alice Walker for “The Color Purple.”