William Heath

Frederick, MD 21701

Author's Bio

I believe that fiction should delight and instruct and engage the reader in the real world, not offer escapist fantasy. Authors should be judged on the quality of their descption, dialogue, drama, and ability to create characters unlike themselves, charcters of different ages, gender, race, region and so forth. It is the clash of values and points of view that creates meaning in fiction. In The Children Bob Moses Led I wrote about the civil rights movement in Mississippi; in Blacksnake's Path the clashing worlds of the Miami and settlers in the Old Northwest; in Devil Dancer, I bring the lush horsefarms as well as the lowest dives of Lexington, Kentucky, to life. In my next novel I will write another very different world, but always I strive to dramatize what being human means. Blacksnake's Path, by the way, is now available as an ebook and The Children Bob Moses Led was reissued in 2014 in a twentieth-anniversary edition by NewSouth Books. In 2015 I published a work of history, William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest, and in 2017 the University of Mississippi Press will issue Conversations with Robert Stone.

Publications and Prizes

Blacksnake's Path: The True Adventures of William Wells
(Heritage Books, 2008)
, Devil Dancer
(Somondoco Press, 2013)
, The Children Bob Moses Led
(Milkweed Editions, 1995)
, The Walking Man
(Icarus Press, 1994)
Cortland Review, Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, South Carolina Review, Southern Review
Prizes Won: 
The Children Bob Moses Led won the Hackney Literary Award. In 3003 Time magazine online selected it as one of the eleven best novels ever written on the African American experience. The William Heath Award is given annually to the best creative writer at Mt. St. Mary's University William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest won two Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America for best Historical Nonfiction book and best first Nonfiction book; it was a finalist for the Ohioana Award and the Jon Gjerde Prize in Midwestern History.

Personal Favorites

What I'm Reading Now: 
Towpath by Jesus Moncada
Outerbridge Reach by Robert Stone
Crazy in Berlin by Thomas Berger
The Wrath of Cochise by Terry Mort
Jesse's Ghost by Frank Bergon

More Information

Listed as: 
Fiction Writer, Poet
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Poland, OH
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Last updated: Nov 16, 2016