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UW Professor’s Latest Book Named Finalist for Southern Book Prize

November 12, 2018
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UW Professor Alyson Hagy’s latest novel, “Scribe,” was recently named a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. (Graywolf Press)

University of Wyoming Professor Alyson Hagy’s latest novel, “Scribe,” was recently selected as a finalist for the Southern Book Prize.

For a book to be eligible for the award, it must be set in the South, or the author must be Southern or both. All nominations must come via Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance booksellers. From Nov. 10-Feb. 1, booksellers and readers vote on finalists in the categories of fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. Winners will be announced Feb. 14.

Set after a civil war and deadly fevers decimate the country, “Scribe” tells the story of a nameless main character, a scribe, who lives alone in her family’s Appalachian farmhouse. She becomes known for her letter-writing skills, which she exchanges for scarce resources.

She lets a migrant group known as the Uninvited set up temporary camps on her land and maintains an uneasy peace with her neighbors. When a mysterious man asks her to write a letter for him, an unknowable -- yet devastating -- series of events is set in motion.

Published by Graywolf Press and released in October, “Scribe” is Hagy’s eighth work of fiction. The novel is the American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next List No. 1 pick for November. Additionally, the UW Honors College added “Scribe” to the reading list of students in “Freshman Honors Colloquium.”

The book has received positive reviews from a variety of publications and authors.

“An original addition to the post-apocalyptic genre, ‘Scribe’ reaffirms the power of the pen and the surviving quality of the human spirit,” according to a review by The Arkansas International.

“More than a novel, ‘Scribe’ is a myth, a haunting legend that comes to us from the edge of history -- from a past we wish to forget or a future we hope to avoid. Alyson Hagy’s book defies the hush of a dying world with every breathtaking sentence,” says Hernan Diaz, author of “In the Distance.”

Hagy is on a book tour this fall, which kicked off in Laramie and has included stops in Washington, D.C., New York and Minnesota. She will stop in Casper Saturday, Dec. 1, at 11 a.m. at Wind City Books, located at 152 S. Center St.

Hagy grew up on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She received her bachelor’s degree from Williams College and earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

She joined UW in 1996. A professor in UW’s Creative Writing Program, she has won numerous awards for her writing and teaching. Her honors include a Pushcart Prize, a Nelson Algren Award, a High Plains Book Award and a Devil’s Kitchen Award in Prose. She also won a John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award for excellence in classroom teaching at UW.

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