From Southern Changes, Vol. 12, No. 5, 1990
The Lillian Smith Awards are presented yearly to recognize and encourage outstanding writing about the American South. Smith long distinguished herself as one of the region's foremost advocates of human rights and one of its most sensitive students. She wrote many works, both fiction and non-fiction. Hers is the rare type of topical literature that remains relevant year after year because it confronts deeply rooted social problems and promotes a recognition of their very human roots and dynamics. The Lillian Smith awards for fiction and non-fiction have been presented since 1968. The recipients do not have to be Southerners, but their honored work must be about the South.
Dori Sanders is the 1990 recipient of the Lillian Smith Award for fiction. Sanders is the author of the award winning novel Clover. Born in York County, South Carolina, Sanders attended York County Public Schools and later studied at community colleges in Prince George's and Montgomery counties in Maryland. She divides her time between her writing, working on her family's peach farm, an open air market, and as an associate banquet manager in Maryland. Besides being featured in numerous national magazines and newspapers, Clover is being translated for publication in Japanese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and German and Walt Disney studio has acquired movie rights. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill is the publisher of this work.
Wayne Flynt is the 1990 recipient of the Lillian Smith Award for non-fiction. Flynt, a native of Alabama, is currently the Hollifield Professor of History at Auburn University and a Baptist minister. In the sixties Flynt was a civil rights activist within the Baptist church. After the Movement he established a distinguished career as teacher and author. In 1989 he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Poor But Proud: Alabama's Poor Whites, which utilized scholarly research and oral history to document the historical, economic, and socio-political implications of Southern poverty. His chronicle of how poor Euro-Americans struggled to retain their dignity and make sense of their world is one of the great dramas of the story of the American people. This work is published by the University of Alabama Press.