Davenport wins New Writers Award
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Randi Davenport’s book, “The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes: A Mother’s Story,” has received the 2011 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award.
Davenport is executive director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also is an adjunct faculty member in the English and comparative literature department in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.
The award recognizes new authors’ first published volumes of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Judges said of Davenport’s book, which won in the creative nonfiction category: “A terrifically well-crafted narrative of a mother dealing with an autistic son … a gripping and fascinating account.”
Davenport will visit association member colleges as part of the award and speak to students and faculty about the book.
“The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes” (Algonquin Books, 2010) tells of Davenport’s efforts to bring her autistic son back from relentless psychosis and offers an indictment of the mental health care system in America today.
The book has been praised by reviewers in publications including the Los Angeles Times and Publisher’s Weekly. Author Lee Smith calls it “a brave and beautiful story by a born writer,” and author Alice Hoffman describes it as “heartbreaking, disturbing … the truly courageous story of one mother’s fight to save her son.”
Davenport website: http://randidavenport.com
Great Lakes Colleges Association website: http://www.glca.org/
College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Spurr, (919) 962-4093,