Mary Tutwiler

Tim Gautreaux named 2009 Louisiana Writer Award winner

All I can say is it’s about time. I’ve been reading Tim Gautreaux’s work for years, cheering every time he publishes another book of short stories or a new novel. One year, I gave everybody in my family his novel set in a logging camp in the Basin, The Clearing, for Christmas. This month, at the Louisiana Book Festival, the Morgan City native will receive the 2009 Louisiana Writer Award. It’s no surprise that the state literary folks would honor Gautreaux. He’s received accolades from just about everybody else. I just wonder why it took so long. In announcing the honor, the Louisiana Book Festival noted Gautreaux’s awards and work:
Gautreaux’s awards include a National Magazine Award, Southeastern Booksellers Award for best novel, Mid-South Booksellers award, The Heasley Prize, The John Dos Passos Prize and an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship.  He was the John Grisham visiting writer in residence at The University of Mississippi. Welding with Children was chosen by the New York Times as a notable book of the year.  The Clearing, published by Alfred A. Knopf, made several top ten lists, including the USA Today list of the ten best books of 2003.  Pulitzer Prize winning author Annie Proulx called it “The finest American novel in a long, long time.”  His most recent novel, The Missing, appeared in 2009 to positive reviews.

He has published two collections of short stories (Same Place, Same Things, 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, the New Yorker, and many other magazines.  Over the years his work has been printed regularly in Best American Short Stories and New Stories from the South.  He 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.

Gautreaux will be honored on Oct. 17 at the Louisiana Center for the Book located at the State Library of Louisiana, in Baton Rouge.