2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize

Formerly the “SIBA Book Award,” the newly reborn Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize features an expanded list of categories, inspired by the tastes and inclinations of Southern readers. Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” moments and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. The nine winners chosen from a field of nearly forty finalists. Together, they represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers. Of the following nine winners, six appeared at Square Books for events: Walsh, Rash, Panowich, Iles, Randall & Williams and Grant. Congratulations to all the contestants and winners, keep up the good work.

The Great Santini Fiction Prize Winner: 
My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Prince of Tides Literary Prize Winner: 
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash (Ecco Press) - signed copies available at retail price, paperback available as well

The Beach Music Mystery Prize Winner: 
Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize Winner: 
The Bone Tree by Greg Iles (William Morrow & Company) - signed copies available at retail price, paperback available as well

The Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize Winner: 
Soul Food Love by Alice Randall & Caroline Randall Williams (Clarkson Potter Publishers) - signed copies available at retail price

The Death of Santini NonFiction Prize Winner: 
Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant (Simon & Schuster)

The Water is Wide History & Life Stories Prize Winner: 
Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep (Penguin Press)

Poppy's Pants Young Adult Prize Winner: 
Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers)

Poppy's Pants Youngster's Prize Winner: 
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion)

Richard Ford Wins Celebrated Prize from Spain

Today the Princess of Austurias Foundation announced that its 2016 Princess of Asturias Prize, Spain's most prestigious award for literature, has been awarded to Richard Ford, whose previous winners include Mario Vargas Llosa, John Banville, Camilo Jose Cela, Margaret Atwood, and Arthur Miller.   The jury cited Ford's work as "part of the great tradition of the 20th century American novel," saying that his books are "defined by an ironic, minimalist sense of epic."

Ford, a native Mississippian, has visited Square Books on numerous occasions, including on July 4, 1995, with his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Independence Day, and most recently in 2014 with the publication of Let Me Be Frank with You.

Lust and Pie

Spring is here and we all know what that means.  That's right, Lust & Pie.  Saturday, April 2nd, at 5 p.m. we welcome Augusten Burroughs to serve up Lust and Wonder, his latest memoir, and awe over the honesty and humor in this intimate capstone tale. For dessert our dear friend, Roy Blount Jr. will be providing the sweets with his witty, new collection of stories and poems, Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations, on Monday, April 4th, at 5 p.m. Both events will be held at Off Square Books.


Pat Conroy 1945-2016

     Pat Conroy died on Friday, March 4, leaving behind many thousands of readers who revered the passionate writing of the stories of his life, his family, and the places he knew, cheiefly coastal South Carolina and the Citadel, where he went to school. Pat visited Oxford and Square Books a number of times in conjuction with the publication of several of his books and those by his wife, Cassandra King Conroy, when he would drive her around and do his best to hold his gregarious and exuberant personality in check so as not to outshine Cassandra.