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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jamel brinkley

Oakland-based writer Jamel Brinkley’s debut, A Lucky Man, has won the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.

The collection of nine short stories is set in Brooklyn and the South Bronx, where the writer spent his youth before graduating from Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His stories explore the charged, complex ties between boys and men who make mistakes that threaten their relationships with friends, lovers and family members.

“Brinkley offers visions of manhood and masculinity that demonstrate candor without false intensity, desire without ownership. His male characters have fictional experiences that, in the hands of the right reader, can become equipment for living,” the Los Angeles Review of Books wrote.