Posted on December 5, 2023 at 12:17 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Right around this time last year, we shared news from The New York Times that French inmates were serving as the judges of a new literary prize.

Just a year later, a similar award has been announced in the US.

The NY Times reported that Freedom Reads, the Center for Justice Innovation, and the National Book Award have come together to create the Inside Literary Prize, which will be chosen by a jury of inmates at prisons across six states.

But it all began when a bookstore owner and literary podcast read about France's Goncourt des détenus.

She shared that story with a friend at the the Center for Justice Innovation, setting everything in motion for the prize's creation.

The four books contending for the first ever Inside Literary Prize were all at least finalists for the 2022 National Book Award: The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty (which won the prize); The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories by Jamil Jan Kochai; South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry; and Best Barbarian by Roger Reeves.

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Categories: Today in Books

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