‘Night of the Living Rez’ and ‘Dirtbag, Massachusetts’ win big at 2022 New England Book Awards

4 days ago

The two books won for fiction and album respectively.

A accumulating of linked belief set in Maine and a account in essays about growing up in Massachusetts won big at the 2022 New England Book Awards Thursday night. 

“Night of the Living Rez” by Morgan Talty got the high accolade for fiction, while “Dirtbag, Massachusetts” by Isaac Fitzgerald won for nonfiction. 

Talty’s book, his admission banal of fiction, was once appear in July and appearance a alternation of 12 affiliated stories, set in Maine on the Penobscot Indian Nation. The belief allegorize with beauteous benevolence the lives of families abyssal bread-and-butter insecurity, brainy illness, addiction, and trauma. 

“Thank you all for this adulation and support! It way the apple to me!” Talty wrote on Twitter. 

Thank you all for this adulation and support! It way the apple to me!

— Morgan Talty (@Morgan_J_Talty) September 23, 2022

In his admission memoir, which also appear in July, Fitzgerald delves into his adolescence — growing up in a Boston abandoned apartment and in rural Massachusetts — and the years which followed. In the alternation of essays, he examines account of home, safety, and belonging, absorption on his activity experiences, alignment from alive as a bartender in San Francisco to his accord with the Catholic Church.

“HUGE congrats to all the nominees and winners!” Fitzgerald wrote. “And acknowledge you (thank you acknowledge you acknowledge you) absolute booksellers of New England! Your support—and this prize—means the apple to me.”

The winners of the 2022 New England Book Awards were alien all through the New England Independent Booksellers Association abatement appointment Thursday night in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Below see the abounding account of winners and the finalists in each of the award’s book categories:


Winner:  “Night of the Living Rez” by Morgan Talty


  • “Babel” by R.F. Kuang
  • “Ben and Beatriz” by Katalina Gamarra
  • “Kaikeyi” by Vaishnavi Patel 
  • “The Children on the Hill” by Jennifer McMahon


Winner: “Dirtbag, Massachusetts” by Isaac Fitzgerald


  • “Another Appalachia” by Neema Avashia
  • “Black Ghost of Empire” by Kris Manjapra
  • “Breaking Bread” edited by Debra Spark and Deborah Joy Corey
  • “Civil Rights Queen” by Tomiko Brown-Nagin


Winner:  “Such Color” by Tracy K. Smith


  • “Cutlish” by Rajiv Mohabir
  • “Dream of the Divided Field” by Yanyi
  • “The Curious Thing” by Sandra Lim
  • “What is Otherwise Infinite” by Bianca Stone

Young Adult

Winner: “Squire” by Nadia Shammas and Sara Alfageeh


  • “Briar Girls” by Rebecca Kim Wells
  • “Deep in Providence” by Riss M. Neilson
  • “Slip” by Marika McCoola, illustrated by Aatmaja Pandya
  • “The Name She Gave Me” by Betty Culley

Middle Grade

Winner: “Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor” by Xiran Jay Zhao


  • “Anybody Here Seen Frenchie?” by Leslie Connor
  • “A Comb of Wishes” by Lisa Stringfellow
  • “Maizy Chen’s Last Chance” by Lisa Yee
  • “Wingbearer” by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Teny Issakhanian 

Children’s Book

Winner: “Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story” by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry and Alexis Bunten, Illustrated by Gary Meeches Sr.


  • “Big Truck, Little Island” by Chris Van Dusen
  • “Firsts & Lasts: The Changing Seasons” by Leda Schubert, illustrated by Clover Robin
  • “What Isabella Wanted: Isabella Stewart Gardner Builds a Museum” by Candace Fleming, Illustrated by Matt Cordell 
  • “When Langston Dances” by Kaija Langly, illustrated by Keith Mallett

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