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Janet Peery Named Best Fiction Finalist

Janet Peery, university professor of creative writing in Old Dominion University's English department, was named as a finalist for the 11th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards, which will be announced Oct. 18.

She is one of three finalists in the Best Fiction by a Virginia Author category for her novel, "What the Thunder Said," published by St. Martin's Press.

Described as a novella and stories set in the Dust Bowl of 1930s Oklahoma, the book tracks the wayward progress of sisters Mackie and Etta Spoon, who leave home to forge their own separate paths, each setting off in search of a new life, and each finding a fate different than she expected. Through shifting perspectives, voices and characters, Peery follows the sisters, their children and those whose stories intersect with theirs as they range across the high plains of the West in the decades after the Great Depression.

A National Book Award finalist, Peery has received National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, the Whiting Foundation Writer's Award, citations in "The Best American Short Stories," several Pushcart Prizes and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award.

This article was posted on: August 15, 2008

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