Sunday, October 05, 2014
Elizabeth Harris Wins the 2014 Gival Press Novel Award
Gival Press is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Harris of Austin, Texas has won the 2014 Gival Press Novel Award for her novel titled Mayhem: Three Lives of a Woman, which was chosen by the final judge John Domini, author of A Tomb on the Periphery. Ms. Harris will receive a cash prize of $3,000 as well as copies of her novel which will be published in the fall of 2015.Congratulations, Elizabeth Harris!
Photo of Elizabeth Harris by Diane Bowman.
Elizabeth Harris is a native Texan who grew up in Ft. Worth and in Pittsburgh, PA. She won the John Simmons Prize, awarded by University of Iowa Press, for her first book, The Ant Generator, a collection of stories praised for their “sense of wonder and comedy” and “acid-etched existentialism.” Those and uncollected stories appeared in Antioch Review, Epoch, Chicago Review, North American Review, Shenandoah, and other magazines, and have been anthologized in New Stories from the South, Best of Wind, The Iowa Award, and Literary Austin. Mayhem: Three Lives of a Woman will be her second book. She was a runner up in a previous Gival Press contest with The Look Thief, a contemporary novel with a historical setting still unpublished; and in a Faulkner Pirate’s Alley competition for an earlier novel. She taught fiction writing and modern literature for a number of years at the University of Texas in Austin, where she and her husband live
A great novel gives us Genesis, and so Mayhem: Three Lives of a Woman calls a world into being. We get not only the odor and crackle of rural Texas beginning a hundred years ago, but also the spirits of that time and place. We suffer with a rancher’s wife, a woman catastrophically misunderstood. Violence proves inevitable — but then comes the real miracle. Elizabeth Harris summons up not one world but several, in rich and moving succession. Itʼs as if redemption were sympathy: as if to peer deeply into anyone is to understand everyone. If this sounds less like a God and more like a great storyteller, well, thatʼs what weʼve got. Harris squeezes palaver and tears from her Texas clay, even while making sure we see the gifted hands at work. — John Domini, author of A Tomb on the Periphery and other novels, as well as stories, criticism, and poetry.
Finalists this year include:
Pissed Away by Jim Sanderson of Beaumont, Texas
The Dieter by Mark Connelly of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Epiphany by Jan Breen of Glassboro, New Jersey
Where Paths Meet by Cleda Hedrich of Bonita Springs, Florida