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Chip Jones, Brian Castleberry, Annie Kim win Library of Virginia Literary Awards; RTD columnist honored for contributions to journalism
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Chip Jones, Brian Castleberry, Annie Kim win Library of Virginia Literary Awards; RTD columnist honored for contributions to journalism

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Virginia authors Chip Jones, Brian Castleberry and Annie Kim were the big winners in the 24th annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards announced Saturday night. Hosted by Adriana Trigiani, the awards were held virtually this year, for the second year in a row, due to the pandemic.

Jones, a former reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, won the award for non-fiction for his book “The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South.”

The annual awards honor Virginia authors in the categories of nonfiction, fiction and poetry as well as works about a Virginia subject. The winners are selected by independent panels of judges.

Michael Paul Williams, a columnist for The Times-Dispatch and winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, was honored for his distinguished contributions to journalism in Virginia. The Pulitzer board honored Williams for his “penetrating and historically insightful columns that led Richmond, a former capital of the Confederacy, through the painful and complicated process of dismantling the city’s monuments to white supremacy.”

Castleberry won the Emyl Jenkins Sexton Literary Award for Fiction for his debut novel, “Nine Shiny Objects,” which was also a New York Times Editor’s Choice and an Indie Next selection, and was longlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award. An Oklahoma native, Castleberry attended Virginia Commonwealth University’s MFA program in creative writing and is currently the director of the creative writing program at the College of William & Mary.

The other finalists for the fiction award were Rachel Beanland for “Florence Adler Swims Forever” and Alma Katsu for “The Deep.”

Kim won the poetry award for her collection “Eros, Unbroken.” She was born in Seoul and lives in Charlottesville, where she works as an assistant dean at the University of Virginia School of Law.

The other finalists for the poetry award were Bill Glose for “Postscript to War” and Kiki Petrosino for “White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia.”

John Grisham won the People’s Choice Award for fiction for his book “A Time for Mercy,” and Bettye Kearse won for nonfiction for her book “The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family.”

Gaylord Torrence won the art in literature award for his book “Continuum: Native North American Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.”

The other finalists for the nonfiction award were Ryan K. Smith for “Death and Rebirth in a Southern City: Richmond’s Historic Cemeteries” and Nicole Myers Turner for “Soul Liberty: The Evolution of Black Religious Politics in Postemancipation Virginia.”

The next Library of Virginia Literary Awards celebration will be held on Oct. 15, 2022.

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