My wife, Dianne, and I are very happy to be a part of this exciting project established by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to recognize the best newly published African-American writers from across the country.
— Ernest J. Gaines
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Ladee Hubbard

New Orleans writer and educator Ladee Hubbard’ debut novel, The Talented Ribkins, has won the 2017 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.

Hubbard’s novel follows Johnny Ribkin and his family, who use their unusual superpowers to help him search for money stolen from a mobster boss. It’s a novel that incorporates race, class and politics with unique gifts. All of these combine to hold the Ribkin family together in their quest.

Hubbard earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s of fine arts in dramatic writing from New York University and a master’s of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. While attending Princeton, she was mentored by Nobel prize winning author Toni Morrison. Hubbard is a professor of African studies at Tulane University.