In the Context of Love is a Finalist in the 2016 Eric Hoffer Awards for Commercial Fiction!
Who’s Eric Hoffer?
Naturally, the first thing the husband asks me, after saying congratulations, is “Who’s Eric Hoffer?”
“Um… He’s a writer. A philosopher,” I said, too busy dancing around in joy to remember details.
Actually, Hoffer was a fascinating guy, an anti-intellectual, the kind you could sit and chew the fat with. Yet, he could blow your mind away with his insights.
“Hoffer practiced what one might call ‘outsider philosophy.’ He simply followed his own lights, his own intelligence.” says critic Michael Dirda.
When Hoffer’s The True Believer was published in 1951, he was a largely self-educated, barrel-chested guy who earned his living by loading and unloading ships on the docks of San Francisco. This union job gave him plenty of time off to read and write. He lived by himself in a single room, owned next to nothing except his work clothes, some writing supplies and a library card. Throughout his adult life, he devoured serious books and copied out favorite passages onto index cards. He wrote about and enjoyed discussing the nature of man as a social, political and religious being.
In 1964, Hoffer became a visiting professor at Berkley. He simply appeared on campus to talk for a few hours with students and visitors. Apparently he was welcomed. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1982.
The Hoffer Award
The Eric Hoffer Award honors his memory by recognizing books of social importance, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. After the first round of judging, less than 10% of the nominees become category finalists. For this reason, the award committee considers Finalist “a distinction of its own merit.”
What a Finalist Award means to me
I’m honored and excited. My publisher, MaryChris Bradley from Buddhapuss Ink LLC is thrilled. After many drafts and edits, chewing of nails and gnashing of teeth, sending it out to agents and editors, and keeping track of rejections, and finally finding a publisher, getting this kind recognition feels so good.