Rice University Lecturer Wins the 2019 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Bryan Washington, a lecturer at Rice University in Houston, Texas, is the winner of the 2019 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. The award has been given out for the past 13 years by Baton Rouge Area Foundation. It recognizes the work of African American fiction writers and honors the legacy of author Ernest J. Gaines who died last month. (See JBHE post.)

Washington was honored for his debut book, Lot (Riverhead Books, 2019). In a review, National Public Radio stated that “Lot paints an unforgettable picture of Houston and the people who call it home. It’s hard to overstate what an accomplishment Lot is. Washington does a brilliant job making the city come to life in all its imperfect glory.”

Washington holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Houston and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of New Orleans.


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