James Gallant, author of the story collection La Leona and Other Guitar Stories, has won the sixth annual Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature. As a result, the book will be published by Schaffner Press in 2020. The award is presented annually to a work of fiction, nonfiction or poetry that deals in some way with the subject of music and its influence, and it celebrates the life of publisher Tim Schaffner’s brother Nicholas, who was a poet, musician, biographer, and music critic.
Schaffner commented: “James Gallant’s highly imaginative story collection provides a kaleidoscopic journey through the evolution of the classical guitar and guitar music as backdrop to the hurly-burly of Western cultural history that includes whimsical cameos of such historical characters as Shakespeare, Walt Whitman and Jean-Paul Marat. Along the way, readers discover the origins of the troubadours, the guitar’s evolution, and the secrets of the luthier’s craft. In a style that is reminiscent of Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, and Peter Cameron, these fictions make twists and turns as surprising and delightful as the music Mr. Gallant celebrates.”
Gallant plays classical guitar and is the author of Verisimilitudes: essays and approximations, The Big Bust at Tyrone’s Rooming House: A Novel of Atlanta, and Whatever Happened to Ohio?