University of Wales Press strikes a double nomination for international book award

Posted on 10 August 2011
Two books published by the University of Wales Press have been nominated for the Allan Lloyd Smith Prize – an international award which recognises the best book published on the Gothic, 2009-2011.

American Gothic, by Charles L. Crow and The Gothic and Catholicism: Religion, Cultural Exchange and the Popular Novel, 1785-1829, by Maria Purves have both been shortlisted by the International Gothic Association (IGA) for this prestigious award.

The first title, American Gothic, is a collection which brings together, and sets into dialogue, Gothic works by a number of authors which illuminate many of the deepest concerns and fears of nineteenth–century America. The collection contains short stories, novellas, and poems by some of America′s best–known authors African–American writers such as Charles Chesnutt who brilliantly anticipate the Gothic fiction of race in our own time.

The second nomination, The Gothic and Catholicism, constitutes the first sustained analysis which comprehensively proves that a revision is required of the critical commonplace idea in Gothic scholarship that the roots of the Gothic novel should be seen within a late eighteenth-century popular anti-Catholicism. Whereas scholarship has always maintained that the Catholic motifs contained in Gothic novels (e.g. monks, nuns, abbeys, confessionals) signify anti-Catholic prejudice, Purves’ study argues that in fact the Gothic was neither anti-Catholic nor anti-Church – a huge departure from traditional thinking.

The winner of the prize, which will be adjudicated by a panel of past Presidents of the IGA, will be announced at the IGA’s conference in Heidelberg in August 2011. This is the inaugural award of the Allan Lloyd Smith prize. It is named in honour of the first President of IGA who died in 2010.


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