Merritt Tierce photo by Jeremy Sharp

Books

Merritt Tierce Wins $50,000 Whiting Award for Her Novel Love Me Back

Good on her.

Hopefully you know the name Merritt Tierce. She now lives in LA and writes for Orange Is the New Black, but she got her start in North Texas. She has written for D Magazine. She contributes to our annual micro fiction feature. And, of course, she wrote the 2014 novel Love Me Back. If you live in Dallas and you haven’t yet read the book, you really should.

Last night, the Whiting Foundation recognized the book with a $50,000 check. I assume it was a check. It would be cool if they handed Merritt $50,000 in cash stuffed into a Tumi backpack like the one Phillip Jones carries. But I’m guessing that’s not the way it works.

Anyway, here’s what the Whiting selection committee said about Merritt’s book:

Merritt Tierce’s novel Love Me Back is marked by extraordinary daring and restraint, boldly refusing epiphany at the end. Hers is a sui generis presence in fiction, one that approaches economically marginalized lives with an unflinching and off-kilter gaze. There is a coldness to the writing that exhilarates; Tierce’s work chafes against the notion that female protagonists need be relatable. This is clear-eyed, dark-hearted, and mordantly funny writing about getting stuck inside your own mistakes. Once read it can’t be forgotten.

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