The Chautauqua Prize, this year awarded for the fourth time, is an annual prize that celebrates a book of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and honors the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts.
As author of this years winning book, Phil Klay receives $7,500 and all travel and expenses for himself and his wife for a one-week summer residency at Chautauqua. He will host a public reading and a book signing on Saturday, July 25 at the Hall of Philosophy.
While his Week Four residency will be the first time Klay visits Chautauqua, he said he has fond memories of childhood trips to Lakeside Chautauqua, an Ohio community that is part of the Chautauqua Trail.
"I'm thrilled to come to the original Chautauqua," Klay said. "I'm incredibly honored by this, and looking forward to meeting folks there."
Phil Klay is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in Iraq's Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer. After being discharged he went to Hunter College and received an MFA. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Granta, Tin House and elsewhere. Redeployment is his first book.
In the National Book Award-winning Redeployment, the horrors of war take center stage. As they read about characters on the front lines in Iraq, Chautauqua readers called the short stories "explicit, emotional and also enlightening," that they "cut to the marrow of the war experience. ... Each skillfully constructed narrative tells a tale of emotional, physical or spiritual depths."
Details on The Chautauqua Prize are available online at ciweb.org/prize. Books published in 2015 will be accepted as submissions for the 2016 prize beginning in September 2015.
Previous winners include The Sojourn, by Andrew Krivak (2012), Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, by Timothy Egan (2013), and My Foreign Cities, by Elizabeth Scarboro (2014).
With a history steeped in the literary arts, Chautauqua Institution is the home of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, founded in 1878, which honors at least nine outstanding books of fiction, nonfiction, essays and poetry every summer. Further literary arts programming at Chautauqua includes summer-long interaction of published and aspiring writers at the Chautauqua Writers' Center, the intensive workshops of the nationally recognized Chautauqua Writers' Festival, and lectures by prominent authors on the art and craft of writing.