bill boyd Literary Novel Award recipient named

Contact: Cheryl Malden


ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

May 2001

bill boyd Literary Novel Award recipient named

Brigadier General Edwin Simmons' book, "Dog Company Six," published by the Naval Institute Press is the winner of the bill boyd Literary Novel Award. The award was given to the best military novel written in the year 2000.

The bill boyd Literary Novel Award honors a fiction novel 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.

Simmons' book takes place in the early years of the Korean War and is about a Marine Infantry Company. The novel is based upon the author's personal experiences.

"In combat scenes that are full of realism, the author captures the reality of this brutal war and portrays the depths that men in combat can rise or fall to as they face overwhelming enemy forces and severe weather conditions," Award Committee Chair Robert Schnare said. "The jury felt that this book more than any other captured the spirit of the American fighting man in a time of war."

Jim Lehrer of The News Hour with Jim Lehrer also spoke favorably about the book. "Simmons winning novel "Dog Company Six" is a superb novel. It works as a story of the Korean War and the U.S. Marine Corps, but also as a probe into the deepest reaches of the human condition. What causes people to react so differently in combat? It's the question that has haunted exchanges of gunfire between armies since the beginning of time. General Simmons writes so well about it because he writes from his own experiences."

Simmons served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, as well as sideshows in North China and the Dominican Republic. He has commanded in combat or been acting commander of every size unit from platoon through division. His service has been rewarded with numerous personal decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, three Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, a Meritorious Service Medal and what he calls an "unavoidable" Purple Heart.

Simmons retired from the active service with the grade of brigadier general in 1972. For nearly a quarter of a century he was the director of Marine Corps History and Museums, and since 1996 he has been the Director Emeritus.

The bill boyd Award will be presented Tuesday, June 19, at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.