In 2009, the debut novel of Savannah native Leslie Walker Williams received the Peter Taylor Prize and the Morris Hackney Literary Award.
The Prudent Mariner is set on the Georgia coast in the 1960’s.
It’s a story of a young girl’s journey into the past secrets of her family, or truths buried underground and the proximity of a distant, shameful past.
Nine year old Ridley Cross discovers disturbing photographs of a lynching among her family’s possession. The Prudent Mariner unfolds through Ridley’s eyes as she uncovers her grandmother’s connection to the horrific past events.
Leslie Walker Williams dives headfirst into the complexities of a southern town haunted by its violent and horrific past, and the complex relationships of a family that reflects this past.
Williams was raised in Savannah, Georgia and has done extensive archival research on lynchings. It was a visit to the Detroit Museum of African American History which inspired her to write The Prudent Mariner.
A resident of Vancouver, Canada, her short stories have been published in numerous publications including The Iowa Review, The Madison Review, Harvard Review and American Fiction.
Her collection, Taxidermy, was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award.
Listen to this episode