Dr. Gass joins an impressive list of great writers who
have been recognized for their legendary contributions as novelists,
essayists, poets and playwrights. Recipients of the Saint Louis Literary
Award include Saul Bellow, Eudora Welty, John Updike, Richard Ford, Joan
Didion and Chinua Achebe. Award-winning playwright and novelist Michael
Frayn was the 2006 Saint Louis Literary Award recipient.
During a writing career that spans nearly five decades, Dr. Gass has
been recognized for his works of fiction and non-fiction as well as
stories and essays. Dr. Gass has received many awards and honors, including
the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for
Criticism and the Mark Twain Award for Distinguished Contributions
to Literature in the Midwest. As the David May Distinguished Professor
in Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, he taught philosophy
for more than 30 years and founded the University's International Writers
Center. Although he retired from full-time teaching in 1999, Dr. Gass
continues as professor emeritus at the university.
Now celebrating its 40thyear, the prestigious Saint Louis
Literary Award was first presented as the Wilma and Roswell Messing,
Jr. Award in 1967. In the decades since, literary giants from around
the world have traveled to St. Louis to accept this award. For a list for previous Award recipients, please see Literary Award.
The honor, known simply as the Saint Louis Literary Award today, is
presented annually by the Saint Louis University Library Associates
and a group of patrons.
Hugh Law, president of SLU's Library Associates, said the group is
delighted to honor Dr. Gass and sponsor the annual awards presentation.
"The splendid tradition of past honorees, which we inherit, reflects
our special contribution to the larger community of learning. This
year that tradition is well continued by the recognition of the literary
work of William Gass, our distinguished fellow St. Louisan," Law said.
Gail Staines, Ph.D., assistant provost for University libraries, said
the 40-year tradition of honoring some of our greatest writers is part
of the continuing commitment of SLU and the Library Associates to recognize
and promote the best in literature.
"It is a pleasure to be able to honor one of St. Louis' premier authors.
Dr. Gass joins a list of very prestigious awardees and we are thrilled
that he is right in our own backyard," Staines said.
About William H. Gass: An award-winning writer, essayist and
critic, William H. Gass, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus at Washington
University in St. Louis where he taught philosophy for more than 30
years. He also founded the university's International Writers Center
to serve as a focal point for writing excellence. For more than four
decades, his books, short stories and essays have received high praise
from critics and readers alike. His epic novel, The Tunnel,
which took 30 years to compose, was published in 1995 and released
as an audio book in 2006. He is currently working on a novel as well
as a book of 17th century Baroque sermons and an essay for Harper's
Magazine, where he has been a regular contributor for many years.
A distinguished member of the St. Louis community, in 1998 he was inducted
into the St. Louis Walk of Fame along with Cardinal baseball great
Red Schoendienst. Dr. Gass is married to Mary Henderson Gass and lives
in St. Louis.
About the Saint Louis University Library Associates: Founded
in 1964 by University President Paul C. Reinert, S.J., with the help
of Henry J. Scherck and J. Barry McGannon, S.J., the goal of the Saint
Louis University Library Associates was to build a closer relationship
between the University and the community and to enhance the prestige
of Saint Louis University as one of St. Louis' most important and sustainable
institutions. Their mission is to enhance the visibility of the Saint
Louis University libraries in order to promote the development of their
collections and services.
For more information on the Saint Louis University Libraries and the
Library Associates visit http://www.slu.edu/libraries/associates/index.html.
For parking or program information, call (314) 977-3100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
To register for the dinner that follows the awards presentation, call
Joan Hecker at (314) 520-3564.
Tickets are $75. Valet parking will be available.
Saint Louis University Library Associates
Pius XII Memorial Library
3650 Lindell Blvd.
Saint Louis, Missouri 63108