English Professor's Co-Edited Collection Named 2020 Foreword INDIES Book of Year Finalist

Cover artwork by Grande Dame

Mercer University Press is pleased to announce Understanding the Short Fiction of Carson McCullers has been recognized as a finalist in the 23rd annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the category of Women's Studies.

Casey Kayser, assistant professor of English, co-edited the collection with Alison Graham-Bertolini, associate professor of English at North Dakota State University. The book, released in April 2020, is the first in Mercer's new Carson McCullers Series.

As part of its mission to discover, review and share the best books from university and independent publishers, Foreword Magazine Inc. hosts an annual awards program each year. Finalists represent the best books published in 2020. After more than 2,000 individual titles spread across 55 genres were submitted for consideration, the finalists were determined by Foreword's editorial team.

Winners will be decided by an expert team of booksellers and librarians—representing Foreword's trade readership—from across the country and announced on June 17, 2021.

Portrait of Casey Kayser
Casey Kayser (photo by Kelly L. Dunn)

"The pandemic did not slow down the quality of great books coming from the independent publishing community in 2020," said Victoria Sutherland, Foreword publisher. "The finalist selection process this year was one of the hardest our team encountered due to the vast number of excellent submissions."

"While in typical years, the judging process involves our team gathering and discussing books in real time, this year, we had to read separately, take notes and converge to discuss the entrants after we'd all taken a turn with them on our own. While at first the change was nerve-wracking, we were delighted to discover that we're as much in agreement when the process takes place across miles and weeks as we are when we're sitting face-to-face," said Foreword managing editor, Michelle Anne Schingler. "We're as confident as ever that these finalists reflect the best of the books that we've had the privilege of seeing."

"Mercer University Press is honored to have published Understanding the Short Fiction of Carson McCullers, but we are overjoyed for the editors of and contributors to this collection of lucid and insightful essays," said MUP director Marc A. Jolley.

Since 1998, Foreword Reviews has provided trade book reviews of the best titles from independent presses. Its FOLIO award-winning design and editorial content makes the magazine a favorite among librarians, booksellers and readers—an excellent resource when it comes to purchasing books. Foreword INDIES complements online content and their print magazine, helping to showcase independent presses and their authors.

The Carson McCullers Series seeks to publish books on the work and life of Carson McCullers (1917-1967). As such, the series is open to many genres including — but not limited to — critical monographs, essay collections, correspondence, biography, photography and memoir. Series editor is Carlos Dews, professor of English and director of the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.

Mercer University Press, established in 1979, has published more than 1,600 books in the genres of Southern Studies, African American Studies, Appalachian Studies, History, Civil War History, Biography & Memoir, Literary Fiction, Poetry, Religion and Philosophy. Publishing authors from across the United States and abroad, Mercer University Press focuses on topics related to the culture of the South. Always mindful of their Georgia roots, the Press is proud to work with some of the finest Southern writers in all genres. The reputation of the Press significantly enhances the academic environment of Mercer University and carries the name of Mercer and Macon, Georgia, throughout the world. Visit their website at www.mupress.org.



Casey Lee Kayser, assistant professor
Department of English
479-575-2512, ckayser@uark.edu


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