'Cain at Gettysburg' wins the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/30/2013

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Cheryl M. Malden
Program Officer
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1-800-545-2433 ext.3247
cmalden@ala.org

CHICAGO— "Cain at Gettysburg" by Ralph Peters, published by Forge Books, is the winner of the 2013 W. Y. Boyd Literary Award “for Excellence in Military Fiction.”

The W. Y. 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 W.Y. Boyd II, recognizes the service of American veterans and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction.

"Cain at Gettysburg" is a detailed account of the events leading up to and including the three days of the Battle of Gettysburg.  The author, a  retired U.S. Army officer, has brought to his writing knowledge of the military culture of this time, knowledge of the Union and Confederate chain of command and an understanding of the terrain of this area.  His writings bring the central characters in his book, Generals George Meade (in command of the Union Army), Robert E. Lee (in command of the Confederate Army) and James Longstreet (a trusted aide to Lee) to life and portray them in some cases in a new historical light. He also tells the story of two regiments and the fate that befell them — the 26th North Carolina and the 26th Wisconsin. The latter ranks were filled by German and Polish immigrants. Peters’ writing further gives voices to the men who composed the armies. You are with them as they act like soldiers, fight, are wounded and die.  To put in perspective and understand the scope of this battle, the combined armies had 150,000 men at the battle. The losses on both sides are estimated at more than 48,000 who were killed, wounded or missing.

War, according to General William T. Sherman, is “hell,” and as you read this novel, war is portrayed with all its personalities, horrific carnage, politics, courage, glory and defeat.  Brilliantly written from countless sources and very well crafted, "Cain at Gettysburg" is a must read to understand the turning point of the Civil War and one of the bloodiest days in American History.

The members of the W. Y. Boyd Jury overwhelmingly selected "Cain at Gettysburg" for this year’s award. The annual award will be presented at the American Library Association (ALA) Awards Ceremony Reception on June 30, during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Members of the W. Y. Boyd Literary Award are Robert Schnare, Naval War College, Newport R.I. (retired), Lawrence Clemens, United States Naval Academy, Nimitz Library, Annapolis, Md., John G. Jaffee, Sweet Brier College, Sweet Brier, Va., Maxine Reneker, Monterey, Calif., Ronald Streensland, Panama City, Fla., and Susan Di Mattia, Stamford, Conn.

More information about the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award, including how to submit a nomination, is available on the ALA website.

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