Gabriel Bump honored as winner of 14th Annual Ernest Gaines Book Award
Though the COVID-19 health crisis retains its grip on the nation, artists who endeavor to shore up the pandemic-wearied imaginations, hopes, and dreams of Americans remain hard at work.
One such artist has been awarded the 2020 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, an annually announced award that recognizes the outstanding work of a nationally-acclaimed African-American fiction writer who is relatively new to the literary world.
This year, Gabriel Bump won the award in recognition of his outstanding debut novel, “Everywhere You Don’t Belong.”
Bump's coming-of-age tale addresses the social issue of 'belonging,' and finding one's identity in the societal niche where they feel loved and accepted.
His novel introduces readers to a young Chicago-born teen named Claude McKay Love. Audiences stroll with Love as his story unfolds amid failed relationships, high school drama, and above all, amid the teen's struggle to understand how he and the future that he has yet to plan, fit into a racially divided world.
Bump, much like his novel's main character, is born and bred in Chicago.
His fiction and essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, Slam, Springhouse Journal and other publications. The award-winning author earned an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and currently resides in Buffalo, New York.
Bump be presented with the book award on Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. during a live virtual presentation.
Audiences are welcomed to view the event online at ernestjgainesaward.org.
The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence Award was named after acclaimed Louisiana author Ernest James Gaines, whose works have been made into television movies and continue to be taught in college classrooms across the nation. Two of Gaines' most popular pieces are "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" and "A Lesson Before Dying."
Gaines passed away on November 5, 2019.
The award, initiated by donors of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, is now in its 14th year and has become nationally recognized in its role of enhancing visibility of emerging African-American fiction writers while also expanding the audience for this literature.
The winner receives a $15,000 cash prize to support the writer as they center their lives around literary endeavors.