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A short story collection that explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good is longlisted for the National Book Award in fiction. Published by West Virginia University Press, “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” by Deesha Philyaw is one of 10 titles in contention for what is considered the most prestigious recognition in American book publishing.
Winners of the National Book Award, presented by the National Book Foundation, will be announced Nov. 18.
“My colleagues and I are extraordinarily proud of Deesha’s book, and we’re thrilled to see it among the ten candidates for the award recognizing the year’s best work of fiction. That we’re able to help project our home university’s name and reputation in such a prominent way, despite being a tiny publisher with a full-time staff of just four, is especially gratifying.” – Derek Krissoff, director of the WVU Press.
“My agent shared ‘Church Ladies’ with large and small publishers where she fell it would be understood and fully supported as it made its way into the world. She’d met with WVU Press the previous year, and she knew they were committed to supporting and elevating the voices of regional authors, so they immediately came to mind when it was time to pitch. Their positive response was swift. I’m thrilled with the care and attention they’ve given the collection.” – Deesha Philyaw, author of “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” who is based in Pittsburgh
“The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” “marks the emergence of a bona fide literary treasure.”‑— Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Tender, fierce, proudly black and beautiful.”—Kirkus
- People interested in diversity and inclusion
CONTACT: Derek Krissoff
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