Mountains and Plains Booksellers
Pacific Northwest Booksellers
Western Writers 'Spur' Awards
Montana Book Award
Last year I was extremely excited about the awards because Gary Ferguson's "Hawk's Rest" (in which I make a cameo appearance) became the first book to win the Mountains & Plains AND the Pacific Northwest awards at the same time. Freak of geography maybe, but still a great piece of trivia.
This year I'm sad to say that I haven't read any of the award-winners; indeed I'm unfamiliar with many of them. But I would like to express two forms of happiness.
Marcus Stevens' "Useful Girl" has been on my wish-list since I heard him read from it in Billings last summer. I briefly met Stevens and he struck me as a really nice guy very dedicated to craft, which I especially value in an era when such qualities seem so irrelevant to bookselling.
Likewise, several years ago I briefly met Hannah Hinchman, and found her a warm, engaging person committed to art and place. She writes copiously illustrated books that must be terribly expensive to produce.
This week I finally got around to seeing the movie "Erin Brockovich" and all I could think was, "Julia Roberts won an Oscar for THIS?" Apparently the Oscars are mostly about star power. Perhaps these victories by Stevens and Hinchman suggest that Western literature is not yet at that sad stage.
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