The Simpson Family Literary Prize recognizes annually a mid-career writer who has earned a distinguished reputation and the approbation and gratitude of readers. The Prize Recipient is an author of fiction at the relatively middle stage of a burgeoning career and receives a $50,000 award to encourage and support forthcoming work. There is an application process and an anonymous jury selects the recipient. The Prize is funded by generous individuals as well as some altruistic family foundations and corporate donors, and it is administered by the Simpson Project.
We are pleased to announce the 2019 Longlist and Shortlist Finalists for the 3rd Annual 2019 Simpson Family Literary Prize. The Shortlist Finalists were announced in early March, 2019 and will receive $2,000 for participating in the Literary Project, followed by a Winner in early April 2019. Recipients will give readings in the Bay Area in October 2019, and participate in a two-week residence in Lafayette and Berkeley, California, during the Spring Semester 2020.
Anthony Marra—2018 Recipient of the Simpson Family Literary Prize
Anthony Marra is the author of The Tsar of Love and Techno, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, longlisted for the National Book Award and winner of the NBCC’s John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and Greece’s Athens Prize for Literature. He has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Award, the National Magazine Award, the Berlin Prize Fellowship, and his work has been translated into seventeen languages. In 2017, Granta included Marra on its decennial Best Young American Novelists list. He has taught at Stanford University, and currently lives in Oakland, CA. anthonymarra.net
“Anthony Marra is a warmly inspired storyteller and a brilliant stylist. He is at once a chronicler of savage history and of the most tenderly intimate of emotions. Both his highly acclaimed works of fiction—Constellations of Vital Phenomena and The Tsar of Love and Techno—astonish with their capacity for illuminating the secrets of the human heart and will endure as unique contributions to American literature of the early 21st century.”
– Joyce Carol Oates, Author, Professor, Simpson Family Literary Project Committee
“Anthony Marra is one writer to hold very close to your heart. Something tells me people will be eagerly, rapturously reading him for decades and decades to come, and then some. Though every one of our Finalists is beyond question a world-class talent, we are delighted to award the 2nd Annual Simpson Prize to the most marvelous Mr. Marra.”
– Joe Di Prisco, Chair, Simpson Family Literary Project
“The Berkeley English Department is, once again, honored to be partnering with the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation in announcing our second annual Simpson recipient, Anthony Marra, whose fictions trace events in the former Soviet bloc, is a marvel of a storyteller, a writer whose characters speak to us directly about their pain, hope and sense of possibility. Marra is a deeply humane artist, and we are grateful that he will represent our commitment to promoting writing
that shapes the world for the better."
– Genaro Padilla, Professor and Chair, Berkeley English department
“Anthony Marra is a star in the constellations of vital literature. His writing captures a universe of life experiences while providing the reader with page after page of incredibly rich language with which to savor his deeply moving stories. We are honored to award the 2018 Simpson Literary Prize to Anthony Marra.”
– Vickie Sciacca, Senior Community Library Manager