Reading Matters

2016 Crook’s Corner Prize goes to New Orleans novelist

We have to be generous here.

Never mind that one of North Carolina’s own didn’t win the 2016 Crook’s Corner Book Prize for a debut novel set mostly in the American South.

It’s only fair that we occasionally recognize outstanding writers in other states.

So, prize-winning novelist Lee Smith, who served as the 2016 judge, went far afield and selected for this year’s winner Tom Cooper of New Orleans for his novel, “The Marauders,” set in the Louisiana bayou during the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.

In 2014, Wiley Cash of Wilmington became the first Crook’s Corner Book Prize winner for “A Land More Kind than Home.” The 2015 award went to Raleigh novelist Kim Church for “Byrd,” a heart-breaking coming-of-age novel set in North Carolina.

The prize includes $1,000 and a glass of wine a day for a year at Crook’s Corner.