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Noted Novelist E. L. Doctorow to be Honored as 41st Annual, 2008 Saint Louis Literary Award Recipient

E.L. Doctorow
E.L. Doctorow, 2008 St. Louis Literary Award recipient

Mr. Doctorow 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 Library Award include Saul Bellow, Joyce Carol Oates, Eudora Welty, John Updike, Joan Didion, and Chinua Achebe. Acclaimed novelist William H. Gass, Ph.D., was the 2007 Saint Louis Literary Award recipient.

A highly recognized novelist, playwright, lecturer and essayist, Mr. Doctorow’s works include Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, Lives of the Poets, World’s Fair, Billy Bathgate, The Waterworks, City of God, and The March. He has also published two volumes of essays: Jack London, Hemingway, and the Constitution and Creationists, published in 2006. His play, Drinks Before Dinner, was produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival. His Harvard Massey Lectures were published in 2003 under the title Reporting the Universe, and his story collection, Sweet Land Stories, was published in May 2004. His works have been published in thirty languages.

Mr. Doctorow has received numerous honors including a National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle Awards, two PEN/Faulkner Awards, the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. Mr. Doctorow lives and works in New York.

Now celebrating its 41st year, 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 of 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 the SLU’s Library Associates, said that the group is delighted to honor Mr. Doctorow and sponsor the annual awards presentation.

Gail M. Staines, Ph.D., Assistant Provost for University Libraries, said that the 40+ year tradition of honoring some of the greatest writers is part of the continuing commitment of SLU and the Library Associates to recognize and promote the best in literature.

“Once again, it is a pleasure to be able to honor one of the world’s premier authors. Mr. Doctorow joins a list of very prestigious awardees and we are looking forward to his visit to SLU this October,” Staines said.

About E.L. Doctorow: An award-winning writer, essayist, and playwright, E.L. (Edgar Lawrence) Doctorow was the chief editor at Dial Press from 1964 to 1969. Prior to that, he served as an editor for the New American Library. Mr. Doctorow began his career as a reader for Columbia Pictures. He has won several prestigious awards including the National Book Critics Circle Awards for Ragtime (1975), Billy Bathgate (1989), and The March (2006); the National Book Award for World's Fair, 1986; and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Billy Bathgate, 1990. More information on E.L. Doctorow can be found at:

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’ more 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.

The 2008 Literary Award, honoring E.L. Doctorow will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business, in the Anheuser-Busch Auditorium, 3674 Lindell Boulevard.

The program includes the Literary Award presentation at 5:30pm (free and open to the public) and a reception followed by dinner at the Coronado Ballroom (reservations required), 3701 Lindell Boulevard, with complimentary valet parking.

Reservations are $100 per person. Patron Circle donors, at the $1,000 level, and Patron donors, at the $500 level, receive two complimentary dinner reservations. Reservation deadline is October 18, 2008.

Please include your name, names of guests with whom you wish to sit and your check, payable to Saint Louis University Library Associates, to Saint Louis Library Associates, c/o Joan Hecker, 330 Wenneker Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63124, or call Joan at 314-520-3564.

Please send comments and suggestions to Saint Louis University Library Associates.