Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award

Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award

From his home in Hartford, Mark Twain changed the way the world sees America and the way Americans see themselves.

Part of what makes Mark Twain’s work such an iconic piece of American history is the part he played in establishing a uniquely American voice in literature – especially with his 1885 masterpiece Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Just as Huckleberry Finn defined the voice of 19th-century America, The Mark Twain House & Museum looks to recognize modern voices that define our current America.

First presented in 2016, the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award honors a work of fiction from the previous calendar year that speaks with an “American Voice” about American experiences.

The award carries a $25,000 cash prize underwritten by bestselling author and former trustee of the Mark Twain House and Museum, David Baldacci.

For more information contact Omar Acevedo at omar.acevedo@marktwainhouse.org.

REGISTER HERE

The 2022 Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award Short List

The Mark Twain House & Museum is excited to announce the Short List of titles for The 2022 Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award! The Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award honors an exemplary work of fiction from the previous calendar year that speaks with an “American Voice” about American experiences, much like Twain’s masterwork, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Sixty eligible titles published in 2021 were submitted for consideration. Each book was reviewed by multiple members of the reading committee, resulting in a Long List of fifteen incredible books announced in June 2022. Now, after careful deliberation, a select committee has further narrowed the list down to a Short List of four phenomenal titles. These titles will be read by our final panel of judges who will ultimately decide the winner of the 2022 award.

 

The 2022 Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award Short List 

Damnation Spring 

by Ash Davidson

(Scribner)

A novel about love, work, and marriage that asks how far one family and one community will go to protect their future.

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev 

by Dawnie Walton

(37 Ink)

A novel about the rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later.

The Five Wounds 

by Kirsten Valdez Quade

(W.W. Norton & Company)

A debut novel about a New Mexican family’s extraordinary year of love and sacrifice.

Virtue 

by Hermione Hoby

(Riverhead Books)

A novel of youth, desire, and moral conflict, in which a young man is seduced by the mirage of glamour—at terrible cost.

The winning title will be announced in October and the award, along with its $25,000 prize, will be conferred by its benefactor David Baldacci at the American Voice Award Banquet on November 4 at The Mark Twain House & Museum.

2021 Award Winner

Stephen Graham Jones for his ripping novel of horror and revenge, The Only Good Indians.

Author Stephen Graham Jones and The Only Good Indians book cover

Previous winners

Ocean Vuong for On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Jesmyn Ward for Sing, Unburied, Sing

Bill Beverly for Dodgers

T.C. Boyle for The Harder They Come