Assistant Professor of English Tina Hall has been named the 2010 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, one of the nation's most prestigious awards for a book of short stories. Hall's manuscript, The Physics of Imaginary Objects, was selected from a field of nearly 350 entries by the esteemed author and film critic Renata Adler.
"This is a remarkable collection," Adler said. "I am struck in particular by the range of imagination and the prose. The power, insistence, occasional humor and frequent beauty of the author's voice carry the reader as surely as conventional fiction used to."
The book will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press this fall.
"It's wonderfully gratifying to have this public acknowledgement of what we in the department have known for a long time now," said Catherine Gunther Kodat, chair of Hamilton's English and Creative Writing Department. "Tina's work is exquisite: beautifully crafted, sensitive and haunting. And as her students will happily testify, she is a wonderful teacher and strong, supportive mentor of young talent."
The Physics of Imaginary Objects is a "miscellany of sorts, or a cabinet of curiosities," Hall explained. "The stories test how language determines being, how the body and words interact, how story can be tactical rather than strategic, and how the familiar might be made strange."
Recalling her reaction to winning the Heinz, Hall said, "I was astounded and thrilled — and absolutely sure for about two weeks that someone would be calling me back to tell me they had made a terrible clerical error."