Jamel Brinkley wins 2018 book award named for Ernest Gaines

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A love for reading and writing as a youngster led Jamel Brinkley to teach high school English and begin pursuit of an advanced degree in literature. But, it was the encouragement from professional writers that led him to quit his job and become a full-time author.

Now Brinkley’s debut work, “A Lucky Man,” has garnered much acclaim, including being named the winner of the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. The award, which recognizes rising African-American fiction writers, will be presented to Brinkley in a ceremony Thursday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The book is a collection of nine short stories set in Brooklyn and the South Bronx, where he grew up. It explores “complex ties between boys and men who make mistakes.”

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