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Contact:Cheryl Malden
312-280-3247
cmalden@ala.org

For Immediate Release
May 2002

bill boyd Literary Novel Award recipient named

Owen West's book, "Sharkman Six," published by Simon and Schuster is the winner of the bill boyd Literary Novel Award. The award was given to the best military novel written in the year 2001. This is West's first novel and HBO has purchased the film rights.

The bill boyd Literary Novel Award honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. The $5,000 award and citation, donated by author bill boyd, recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel, and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction.

Chair Robert Schnare said, "The bill boyd Literary Novel Award Jury selected Owen West's book, 'Sharkman Six,' published by Simon & Schuster, as the winner of the best military novel written in the year 2001. The book is set in Somalia during the US involvement in Operation Restore Hope in 1991-1992. The harsh realities of modern warfare's role of the military as peacekeepers are shown in a setting devoid of all forms of a national government. Chaos reigns and the Marines of a Recon Unit struggle trying to feed the starving people of Mogadishu while surviving in a lawless environment controlled by ruthless warlords. The decisions faced by Lieutenant Gavin Kelley, the head of the Recon Unit, during this time will have long-term consequences for his military career. The Jury members felt that this book captured the realism of a military unit facing a confusing mission while attempting to uphold and operate under international rules of engagement."

Nelson DeMille, author of the "General's Daughter" spoke favorably about the book. "'Sharkman Six' is truly a war novel for the New World Order. This is rare insight, written by a former Marine, into how the modern military functions, or doesn't function. Owen West takes a minor military operation and makes it an important morality tale as well as a metaphor for the way things really are."

West, a former Marine captain, is an energy-futures trader and a member of the Council on Foreign Affairs. He attended Harvard on an ROTC scholarship. As a Marine, he commanded an infantry platoon, an infantry company and a reconnaissance platoon. He left the Marines after six years to attend Stanford where he received an M.B.A.

The bill boyd Award will be presented Tuesday, June 18, at the ALA Annual Conference in Atlanta.

 


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