Posted on 03/10/2021 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

We know a few Fussy readers will agree with this decision: The Secret Lives of Church Ladies has won the 2020 Story Prize.

Deesha Philyaw’s victory is one for the books, according to the prize organizers; it represents the first time that a small or university press has published the winner and just the fourth time that a debut author has won it.

The short stories in the collection follow nine members of four generations of Black women who struggle to reconcile their church’s teachings, society’s limitations, and their own aspirations.

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies was previously named a finalist for the National Book Award and could still take home the PEN/Faulkner Award and/or a Los Angeles Times Book Award.

Additionally, it’s in development as an HBO series.

Philyaw will receive $20,000, while the runners-up — Danielle Evans for The Office of Historical Corrections and Sarah Shun-lien Bynum for Likes — take home $5,000 each.

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Categories: Today in Books

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