Jane Hamilton

Writer (The Book of Ruth, PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel; A Map of the World; The Short History of a Prince, Heartland Prize for Fiction; Disobedience)

Although I live in the midwest, I’ve felt the pull of New Words ever since I first visited the store in 1996. It was a place of ideas, comfort and real readers-every book on the shelf was there for a good reason. It hasn’t been enough that the New Words women have created a vibrant reading series, a beautiful and intimate space for books, or have done out-reach into their community. They’ve also pulled off behind the scenes feats-my favorite, persuading a major publisher to bring a wonderful novel, Rumors of Peace, back into print, giving it another life. It’s important that New Words has survived and more important still, that they’re paving the way ahead.