Rilla Askew is the author of four novels, a book of stories, and a collection of creative nonfiction, Most American: Notes from a Wounded Place. Her first novel, The Mercy Seat was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and received the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998. Askew’s novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, Fire in Beulah, received the American Book Award and the Myers Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in 2002, and was selected for Oklahoma’s One Book One State reading program in 2007. Her novel Harpsong received seven literary awards including the Oklahoma Book Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas, and the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Her novel, Kind of Kin, which centers on state immigration laws, was a finalist for the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. Her collection of nonfiction, Most American, was longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Askew is a former Fellow at Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbertide, Italy. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Tin House, World Literature Today, Translatlantica, Nimrod, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and elsewhere. She received a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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