Winner of the 2012 James D. Houston Award
Keenan Norris’s debut novel is a beautiful, gritty, coming-of-age tale about two young African Americans in the San Bernardino Valley–a story of exceptional power, lyricism, and depth. Erycha and Touissant live only a few miles apart in the city of Highland, but their worlds are starkly separated by the lines of class, violence, and history. In alternating chapters that touch and intertwine only briefly, Brother and the Dancer follows their adolescence and young adulthood on two sides of the city, the luminous San Bernardino range casting its hot shade over their separate tales in an unflinching vision of black life in Southern California.
About the James D. Houston Award
Known as a masterful writer in both fiction and nonfiction genres, James D. Houston was also a dedicated teacher and passionate promoter of emerging authors. Friends and family have established a fund to honor his memory and further his legacy. The James D. Houston Award will support publication of books by writers who reflect Jim’s humane values, his thoughtful engagement with life, and his literary exploration of California, Hawai’i, and the West.