Saturday, March 25, 2017

Forty-Six Books Nominated for 2017 Lillian Smith Book Award

The Southern Regional Council (SRC) recently announced that forty-six books have been nominated for the Lillian Smith Book Awards for 2017 to be presented in Decatur, Georgia on September 3, 2017. 

SRC was founded in 1919 to combat racial injustice in the South. SRC initiated the Lillian Smith Book Awards shortly after Smith's death in 1966 to recognize authors whose writing extends the legacy of the outspoken writer, educator and social critic who challenged her fellow Southerners and all Americans on issues of social and racial justice. Since 2004 the awards have been presented by SRC in a partnership with the University of Georgia Libraries, whose Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library houses a historic collection of Lillian Smith's letters and manuscripts. The Georgia Center for the Book became a partner in 2007, when the awards ceremony first became part of the Decatur Book Festival.  Piedmont College, which operates the Lillian Smith Center, became a partner in 2015. 

The award recipients for 2016 were Not Free, Not for All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow by Cheryl Knott and Aaron Henry of Mississippi: Inside Agitator by Minion K.C. Morrison. 

The 2017 nominated books are:





American Happiness

Jacqueline Allen Trimble

NewSouth Books

Forsaken:  A Novel

NewSouth Books


Megan Volpert


Sibling Rivalry Press

The Courage of His Convictions:  A Novella


Rick Spier

Moon Donkey Press, LLC

Haylow:  A Novel

Gray Stewart

Livingston Press, University of West Alabama

The Distance to Home


Create Space



Dana Wildsmith

Ink Brush Press

A Piece of my Mind:  American Stories


John Noltner


The Cigar Factory:  A Novel of Charleston

Michele Moore (Author), Pat Conroy (Foreword)

University of South Carolina Press

Black Sheep Boy:  A Novel in Stories

Martin Pousson

Rare Bird Books


The Myth of Water:  Poems from the Life of Helen Keller  


Jeanie Thompson

The University of Alabama Press

The Making of a Racist:  A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade


Charles B. Dew

University of Virginia Press

The End of Days:  African American Religion and Politics in the Age of Emancipation


Matthew Harper

University of North Carolina Press

Family of Earth: A Southern Mountain Childhood

Wilma Dykeman

University of North Carolina Press


Crystal R. Sanders

University of North Carolina Press

J. Michael Butler

University of North Carolina Press
Transformation of American Culture:  Education and the South in the Age of Desegregation

LSU Press

Bad Girls at Samarcand:  Sexuality and Sterilization in a Southern Juvenile Reformatory


LSU Press

The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America


Daniel Connolly

St. Martin’s Press

They Can't Kill Us All:   Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement


Wesley Lowery

Little, Brown & Company

Honky Tonk Samurai:  A Hap and Leonard Novel


Joe R. Lansdale

Little, Brown & Company

Little, Brown & Company

Underground Airline

Ben H. Winters

Little, Brown & Company

Sing for Your Life:  A Story of Race, Music, and Family

Daniel Bergner

Little, Brown & Company

Alfred A. Knopf

The Summer That Melted Everything:  A Novel


Tiffany McDaniel

Macmillan, Imprint St. Martin’s Press

The Family Tree:  A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth


 Karen Branan

Atria Books / Simon & Schuster

Rapture:  Poems


Sjohnna McCray

Graywolf Press

Wolf Boys:  Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel


Dan Slater

Simon & Schuster

Hanging Bridge:  Racial Violence and America's Civil Rights Century


Jason Morgan Ward

Oxford University Press

Stamped from the Beginning:   The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America


Ibram X. Kendi


The Orphan Mother:  A Novel


Robert Hicks

Grand Central Publishing

Blood Brothers:  The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X


Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith

Basic Books

Boy Erased:  A Memoir

Garrard Conley

Riverhead Books

A Nation Without Borders:  The United States and Its World in an Age of Civil Wars, 1830-1910


Steven Hahn

Viking / Penguin Random House

White Trash:  The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America


Nancy Isenberg

Viking / Penguin Random House

A Pursued Justice:  Black Preaching from the Great Migration to Civil Rights



Kenyatta R.  Gilbert

Baylor University Press

Lynched:  The Power of Memory in a Culture of Terror


Angela D. Sims

Baylor University Press

New Politics in the Old South:  Ernest F. Hollings in the Civil Rights Era


David T. Ballantyne

University of South Carolina Press

Vagrant Nation:  Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s


Risa Goluboff

Oxford University Press

University, Court, and Slave:  Pro-Slavery Thought in Southern Colleges and Courts and the Coming of Civil War

Alfred L. Brophy

Oxford University Press