The Christopher Doheny Award
The Christopher Doheny Award, supported by Audible, Inc. and the friends and family of Christopher Doheny, recognizes excellence in fiction or nonfiction on the topic of serious physical illness by a writer who has personally dealt or is dealing with life-threatening illness, either his or her own or that of a close relative or friend.
The winning book-length manuscript must demonstrate high literary standards while exploring the impact of illness on the patient, family and friends, and others. The award includes a $10,000 prize and publication and promotion of the book in print and audio editions. The award will be presented annually for a manuscript that is in process or completed but not yet published.
The deadline for the 2014 Christopher Doheny Award has now passed. Thank you to all of our applicants this year. The winner will be announced in Spring 2015.
Thursday November 6, 2014
Michelle Bailat-Jones read from and discussed Fog Island Mountains, which won The Center's 2013 Christopher Doheny Award.
About Fog Island Mountains
What if you could rewrite a tragedy? What if you could give grace to someone's greatest mistake? Huddled beneath the volcanoes of the Kirishima mountain range in southern Japan, also called the Fog Island Mountains, the inhabitants of small town Komachi are waiting for the biggest of the summer's typhoons. South African expatriate Alec Chester has lived in Komachi for nearly forty years. Alec considers himself an ordinary man, with common troubles and mundane achievements until his doctor gives him a terminal cancer diagnosis and his wife, Kanae, disappears into the gathering storm. Kanae flees from the terrifying reality of Alec's diagnosis, even going so far as to tell a childhood friend that she is already a widow. Her willful avoidance of the truth leads her to commit a grave infidelity, and only when Alec is suspected of checking himself out of the hospital to commit a quiet suicide does Kanae come home to face what it will mean to lose her husband. Narrating this story is Azami, one of Komachi's oldest and most peculiar inhabitants, the daughter of a famous storyteller with a mysterious story of her own. A haunting and beautiful reinterpretation of the Japanese kitsune folktale tradition, Fog Island Mountains is a novel about the dangers of action taken in grief and of a belief in healing through storytelling.
Michelle Bailat-Jones is a writer and translator. Her début novel Fog Island Mountains won the 2013 Christopher Doheny Award from the Center for Fiction and will be published by Tantor Publishing in the fall of 2014. She has also translated Charles Ferdinand Ramuz’s 1927 Swiss classic Beauty on Earth (Onesuch Press, 2013). She is the Reviews Editor at the web journal Necessary Fiction, and her fiction, poetry, translations, and criticism have appeared in a number of journals, including The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, Hayden’s Ferry Review, the Quarterly Conversation, PANK, Spolia Mag, Two Serious Ladies, and The Atticus Review. She lives in Switzerland.