Jamel Brinkley Wins the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Jamel Brinkley, the Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University, has received the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for his debut work, A Lucky Man (Graywolf Press, 2018).

The award recognizes the outstanding work of rising African-American fiction writers. Brinkley’s book is a collection of nine short stories set in familiar places from his childhood, Brooklyn and the South Bronx. The book is also a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction.

“It’s a huge honor, a surprise and really unbelievable,” Brinkley said of his $10,000 prize. “Ernest Gaines is obviously a legendary writer, someone I read in college. I could never have imagined this.”

Brinkley is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.

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