Thursday, February 05, 2009

Winner of Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction announced

This prize announcement just came through from the source. You may remember the Langum Charitable Trust's decision to ban Random House's books from eligibility for their prizes following RH's cancellation of Sherry Jones's The Jewel of Medina. (If I read the conditions correctly, the ban would have been lifted following Beaufort Books' subsequent acquisition and publication of the novel.)

In any case, the winner of the 2008 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction is Kathleen Kent, for The Heretic's Daughter, a fictional retelling of the Salem witch trials from the viewpoint of Sarah Carrier, young daughter of one of the first victims. More details on The Heretic's Daughter at the publisher website (Little, Brown/Hachette).

Elisabeth Payne Rosen received an Honorable Mention for her Tennessee Civil War saga Hallam's War, and Jack Fuller a Director's Mention for his multi-period novel Abbeville. Both the Rosen and Fuller are published in hardcover by Unbridled Books; the paperback of Hallam's War will appear from Berkley in August.

It's nice to see some US-set historical novels earning accolades, and there are very few prizes dedicated to historical fiction, period. For more information on these titles, see the Langum Charitable Trust website. Congratulations to the winners and publishers.


  1. how thrilling! thanks for mentioning us!

  2. Hi Caitlin! Happy to see two of your books were recognized!

  3. "Hallum's War" is one of those big, sprawling Civil War" epics. Nice to see it win! David Jones has written another great work of Civil War historical fiction, "Two Brothers," which, as you might conclude, is about a family divided by this most divisive war. Really well researched -- and it's nice to see that Jones didn't resort to "character development." His characters were real people who really lived the story as told -- so much better than the bending of fact to suit the author's idea of what the story should be. Readers can appreciate the true character and accomplishments of the historical persons portrayed in this Civil War novel. It's great.