NOVELIST TIM GAUTREAUX HONORED WITH LOUISIANA WRITER AWARD -- 02/13/2009
Office of State LibraryFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 13, 2009
NOVELIST TIM GAUTREAUX HONORED WITH LOUISIANA WRITER AWARD
Baton Rouge, La. - Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu has named award-winning author Tim Gautreaux as the recipient of the prestigious Louisiana Writer Award. The Louisiana Center for the Book, part of the State Library of Louisiana, selected Gautreaux for his extraordinary contributions to the state's literary heritage.
"Louisiana is known throughout the world for its rich cultural and literary heritage," said Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, whose office oversees the State Library. "Tim Gautreaux is part of the tradition of exceptional writers who call Louisiana home. We are proud to honor him with the Louisiana Writer Award."
The Louisiana Writer Award is given periodically to recognize outstanding contributions to the literary and intellectual life of Louisiana. Past recipients include children's author William Joyce, poets Yusef Komunyakaa and William Jay Smith; historian Carl A. Brasseaux; novelists James Lee Burke, Ernest J. Gaines, Shirley Ann Grau and Elmore Leonard; and scholar Lewis P. Simpson.
Gautreaux's previous honors include a National Magazine Award, the John Dos Passos Prize, the Heasley Prize, the Southeastern Booksellers Award for Best Novel, the Mid-South Booksellers Award and an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship. He was also the John Grisham Visiting Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi. His novel Welding with Children was named by the New York Times as a notable book of the year. The Clearing, published by Alfred A. Knopf, was highly acclaimed, and USA Today chose it as one of the ten best books of 2003. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx called The Clearing "the finest American novel in a long, long time." Gautreaux's most recent novel, The Missing, appeared in 2009 to positive reviews.
"We reserve the Louisiana Writer Award for those extraordinary authors whose entire body of literary work stands out," said State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton. "Through his considerable talent and his dedication to his craft, Tim Gautreaux has contributed significantly to the Louisiana's rich literary legacy."
Tim Gautreaux was born in Morgan City, Louisiana in 1947. He attended Nicholls State University and the University of South Carolina where he earned a Ph.D in English literature. He has studied under such literary notables as James Dickey, George Garrett and Walker Percy. In 1972 he began teaching creative writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he directed the creative writing program until his retirement in 2003.
Gautreaux's published fiction includes two collections of short stories (Same Place, Same Things and Welding with Children) and three novels (The Next Step in the Dance, The Clearing, The Missing). His stories have appeared repeatedly in Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, GQ and many other magazines. Over the years his work has been printed regularly in Best American Short Stories and New Stories from the South. Gautreaux has been published in O. Henry Prize Stories, as well as in several university literature textbooks, and his essays have appeared in The Oxford American and Preservation Magazine. For several years he served as editor of Louisiana Literature.
He is married to Winborne Howell, and has two sons, Robert and Tom, and a grandchild, Lily.
Gautreaux still serves at Southeastern Louisiana University as professor emeritus and writer in residence.
The State Library of Louisiana will honor Gautreaux at an award ceremony during the seventh annual Louisiana Book Festival, which will be held on October 17, 2009.