Steven Schwartz, associate professor of English at Colorado State, won the 1999 Colorado Book Award for Fiction for A Good Doctor’s Son at a reception Oct. 29 at the Denver Press Club. Schwartz was honored by the Colorado Center for the Book along with English Professor David Milofsky, who was nominated for the fiction prize for his novel, Eternal People.
Schwartz and Milofsky were two of three finalists from Colorado State in the adult fiction category. The third finalist was Marianne Wesson, author of Render Up the Body.
"Writers really are like mushrooms," Schwartz said. "We spend a lot of time alone, often in obscurity, trying to sprout the best possible prose, so events like the Book Awards go a long way to motivate you and keep you going.
"I’m certainly honored to have won, especially considering who I was competing against – David Milofsky is a very fine writer, and although I haven’t read Mimi Wesson’s book, I do know it was well received."
In presenting the award, a judge noted, "A Good Doctor’s Son is a tough yet beautiful coming-of-age story set in 1960s Pennsylvania."
Schwartz teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in creative writing. He is author of two novels, A Good Doctor’s Son and Therapy, and two collections of stories, To Leningrad in Winter and Lives of the Fathers. His fiction has appeared in publications including Ploughshares, Tikkun, Redbook, San Francisco Chronicle and Missouri Review. His work also has been recorded for National Public Radio’s "Selected Shorts."
He has received the Nelson Algren Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and two O. Henry awards. He has also been on the faculties of the Warren Wilson Master of Fine Arts program for non-resident writers and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
Schwartz just completed another novel, New West, a story about a family from Chicago looking for a new life in the West. In the novel, set in contemporary times, Schwartz explores the myths of the Western allure through the dynamics of a family in crisis.
Milofsky has published three novels, Playing From Memory, Eternal People and Color of Law (forthcoming). He is editor of Colorado Review and serves as director of the Center for Literary Publishing on campus. The Colorado Book Awards are given annually to the Colorado authors of the best books as judged by a panel from the Colorado book community. The 1999 Book Awards categories included adult fiction, adult non-fiction, poetry, guide books, romance, children’s and young adult.