The winner of the 2014 Distinguished NW Writer Award is Jess Walter. He is the author of several prolific and heartfelt (and absolutely at times funny!) novels, as well as essays, short stories, and nonfiction. Because of his skill in various forms of writing, his talent for drawing the reader in and in giving us larger-than-life characters who make us think, laugh, and cry, and his deep connection with the Northwest (he still lives in his childhood home of Spokane, Washington, and attended Eastern Washington University), Willamette Writers feel that he is truly deserving of this year’s Distinguished NW Writer’s Award.
From his bio:
Jess Walter is the author of eight books, including the New York Times #1 bestseller, Beautiful Ruins. He was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2006 for The Zero and won the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe award for Citizen Vince. He has won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award twice and has been a finalist for the PEN/USA Award in both fiction and nonfiction, the LA Times Book Prize and others. His work has been translated into 28 languages, and his essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published, in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper’s, Esquire, McSweeney’s, Byliner, Playboy, ESPN the Magazine, Details and others.
–WE LIVE IN WATER, Stories (2013), Long-listed for The Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor Short Fiction prize and winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.
–BEAUTIFUL RUINS (2012), a New York Times bestseller, New York Times Notable Book of 2012, Esquire’s Book of the Year and NPR Fresh Air’s Novel of the Year.
–THE FINANCIAL LIVES OF THE POETS, (2009), Time Magazine’s #2 novel of the year.
–THE ZERO (2006), finalist for the 2006 National Book Award, the 2007 PEN Center Literary Award and the 2007 LA Times Book Prize and winner of the 2007 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.
–CITIZEN VINCE (2005), winner of the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel.
–LAND OF THE BLIND (2003)
–OVER TUMBLED GRAVES (2001), a New York Times notable book
–EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW (1995) (rereleased as RUBY RIDGE), a finalist for the PEN USA literary nonfiction award in 1996.
Walter lives with his wife Anne and children, Brooklyn, Ava and Alec in his childhood home of Spokane, Washington.
The winners of the Annual Awards are chosen by the Willamette Writers Board each spring.