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Idaho’s Kim Barnes Scores PEN Award

BarnesA Country Called Home

Kim Barnes, the supremely gifted writer who teaches at the University of Idaho in Moscow, has joined rare company indeed – and she deserves to be there.

Barnes’ novel – A Country Called Home – has been awarded the 2009 PEN USA Literary Award for fiction.

As the University noted in a release: “The PEN USA award places Barnes in good company: 2009 recipients includes Creative Nonfiction winner Steve Lopez, who won for ‘The Soloist,’ published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, now a movie distributed by Dreamworks and Universal Pictures; and Dustin Lance Black, who won in the screenplay category for ‘Milk,’ which also earned an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.”

Barnes was a Pulitzer finalist in 1997 for her memoir In the Wilderness. She is working on novel number three, which Knopf will publish.

For more insight into the talented Ms. Barnes, check out New West’s interview with her late last year. Good writer, good books.