TROY - Cassandra King, author of five novels including the critically acclaimed "Moonrise," will receive the Hall-Waters Prize from Troy University on Friday, April 21.
The Hall-Waters Prize was endowed by the late TROY alumnus Dr. Wade Hall, an author, former member of the faculty at the University of Florida and professor emeritus of English at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky.
Dr. Hall, a native of Bullock County, endowed the prize as a memorial to his parents, Wade Hall Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Waters Hall. The award is presented regularly to a person who has made significant contributions to Southern heritage and culture in history, literature or the arts. Past winners include Rep. John Lewis, Rick Bragg and Bobbie Ann Mason.
King will speak at the University's Dothan Campus on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in Sony Hall. The event is free and open to the public. On Friday, April 21, King will take part in an interview and reading in the Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor on the Troy Campus, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. She will then be honored during an invitation-only Hall-Waters Prize Luncheon and Awards Ceremony at the Troy Campus.
"Troy University is delighted to honor Cassandra King with the 2017 Hall-Waters Prize," said Dr. Kirk Curnutt, professor and chair of the Department of English. "Her work celebrates friendship and the need for us to invest our empathy in each other's lives so we can understand our own. Her fiction also embodies the best of Southern values: hospitality, generosity, concern, and, most important, love and commitment."
King's first novel, "Making Waves in Zion," was published in 1995 by River City Press and reissued in 2004 by Hyperion. Her second novel, "The Sunday Wife" (2002), was a Booksense Pick, a People magazine Page-Turner of the Week, a Literary Guild Book-of-the-Month selection, a Books-A-Million President's Pick, a South Carolina State Readers' Circle selection and a Salt Lake Library Readers' Choice Award nominee.
King's third novel, "The Same Sweet Girls" (2005), was a #1 Booksense Selection and a Booksense best-seller, a Southeastern Bookseller Association best-seller, a New York Post Required Reading selection and a Literary Guild Book-of-the-Month Club selection. "Queen of Broken Hearts," published in 2008, was lauded by fellow Southern writers as an "uplifting" work "filled with irresistible characters.
Her latest work, "Moonrise," described as her finest book to date, was a 2013 Okra Pick and a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliances best-seller.
King's short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including "Callaloo," "Alabama Bound: The Stories of a State," "Belles' Letters: Contemporary Fiction by Alabama Women," "Stories from Where We Live," and "Stories from The Blue Moon Café." In addition to writing fiction, King has taught writing on the college level, conducted corporate writing seminars, worked as a human-interest reporter for a Pelham, Ala. weekly newspaper and has published an article on her second-favorite pastime, cooking, in "Cooking Light" magazine.
In addition to her appearances at the Dothan and Troy campuses, King will appear in the South Tent at the Alabama Book Festival on Columbus Street in Montgomery, beginning at 11 a.m. For a schedule of authors and events on April 22, please visit alabamabookfestival.org.