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Toledoan wins Drue Heinz Literature Prize

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Brad Felver, author of the short story collection “The Dogs of Detroit,” has won the 2018 Drue Heinz Literature Prize.

Katherine Pappas Enlarge

Toledoan Brad Felver, author of the short story collection The Dogs of Detroit, has won the 2018 Drue Heinz Literature Prize.

The award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, is one of the most prestigious awards for a book of short stories.

The manuscript by Mr. Felver, 36, was selected from among more than 300 entries. The Dogs of Detroit will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press this year.

The announcement comes less than a week after Drue Heinz, who created the endowment for the accolade in 1991, died. She was 103 and the widow of H.J. "Jack" Heinz II, grandson of the founder of H.J. Heinz Co., which he also led as chief executive officer.

Lynne Sharon Schwartz, a novelist and poet, nominated Mr. Felver’s work for this year’s award. In a statement she wrote: The Dogs of Detroit is animated by a tough-minded vision of strife and frustration, beneath which runs a streak of compassion for its bereft, often violent characters. With consummate skill and assurance, Felver writes of overlooked people suffering physical and emotional deprivation, who struggle, now and again with success in thwarted lives.”

Each of the collection’s 14 stories focuses on grief and its many permutations. “This grief alternately devolves into violence, silence, solitude, and utter isolation. In some cases, grief drives the stories as a strong, reactionary force, and yet in other stories, that grief evolves quietly over long stretches of time,” Mr. Felver said in a statement.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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