by Anthony C. Winkler
Winner of the 2014 Townsend Prize for Fiction
Jamaica-born Atlanta resident Anthony C. Winkler was awarded the 2014 Townsend Prize for Fiction for his novel God Carlos in a ceremony at the Atlanta Botanical Garden Thursday night, April 24.
God Carlos transports the reader to the Santa Inez, a 16th-century Spanish vessel bound for the newly discovered West Indies bearing a ragtag band of fortune-seeking sailors. She is unusual for her day, carrying no provisions for the settlers and no seeds for planting crops, only vain, arrogant men seeking gold in Jamaica. When they make landfall after more than a month at sea, the crew discovers that the island is inhabited by timid, innocent people who walk around stark naked without embarrassment. The adventurers find no gold in Jamaica, only a merciless climate that nourishes diseases that slaughter them. The islanders' belief that the Europeans have come from heaven further complicates an impossible collision of culture, custom, and beliefs, ultimately leading to mutual doom.
See the full list of 2014 Townsend Prize finalists here.
Past Winners of the Townsend Prize
2012 — Thomas Mullen, The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers
2010 — Kathryn Stockett, The Help
2008 — Renee Dodd, A Cabinet of Wonders
2006 — Judson Mitcham, Sabbath Creek
2004 — Terry Kay, The Valley of Light
2002 — Ha Jin, The Bridegroom: Stories
2000 — James Kilgo, Daughter of My People
1998 — Judson Mitcham, The Sweet Everlasting
1996 — JoAllen Bradham, Some Personal Papers
1994 — Pam Durban, The Laughing Place
1991 — Ferrol Sams, When All the World Was Young
1990 — Charlie Smith, The Lives of the Dead
1989 — Sara Flanigan, Alice
1988 — Mary Hood, And Venus Is Blue
1986 — Philip Lee Williams, The Heart of a Distant Forest
1984 — Alice Walker, The Color Purple
1982 — Celestine Sibley, Children, My Children
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