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UW Author Receives High Plains Book Award

November 3, 2014
cover of book with motel sign
Nina McConigley’s “Cowboys and East Indians” received the Best Short Stories Award in the Billings Public Library’s recent High Plains Book Award competition.

University of Wyoming Department of English Lecturer Nina McConigley’s book, “Cowboys and East Indians,” received the Best Short Stories Award in the Billings Public Library’s recent High Plains Book Award competition.

The High Plains Book Awards recognize regional authors and/or literary works that examine and reflect life on the High Plains, including the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Set in Wyoming and India, the short-story collection “Cowboys and East Indians” explores the immigrant experience and the collisions of cultures in the American West as seen through the eyes of outsiders. From motel owners to rig workers, cross-dressers to exchange students, McConigley’s book examines the rural immigrant experience -- and how identity is shaped by place.

In July, “Cowboys and East Indians” received a PEN Open Book Award that recognizes the year’s best book written by a writer of color.

McConigley also has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the “Best American New Voices.” Her play, “Owen Wister Considered,” was produced in 2005 for the Edward Albee New Playwrights Festival. She was the 2010 recipient of the Wyoming Arts Council’s Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award and was a finalist for the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award.

Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction and the Asian American Literary Review, among others.

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