Louisiana Selects Fatima Shaik For Annual Writer Award

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana author who has written nonfiction, short story collections and children's books is receiving the state's annual writing award.

Fatima Shaik has been chosen for the 22nd annual Louisiana Writer Award, given by the state library's Louisiana Center for the Book.

“With all of her books set in Louisiana and spanning many literary genres, Fatima’s writing is an incredibly important contribution to Louisiana’s ongoing literary heritage," State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said in a statement.

Shaik’s latest book is nonfiction: “Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood.” Her other work includes short story collections “The Mayor of New Orleans: Just Talking Jazz” and “What Went Missing and What Got Found" and two children’s picture books “The Jazz of Our Street” and “On Mardi Gras Day.” She's also written the young adult novel “Melitte.”

Shaik said she's honored to be recognized in her home state.

“Louisiana is dear to my heart, and its cultural history is central to my work,” she said in a statement.

Past recipients of the Louisiana Writer Award include Ernest Gaines, James Lee Burke, Tim Gautreaux and John M. Barry. The award will be presented at the Louisiana Book Festival, which is being held virtually Oct. 30 because of the coronavirus pandemic.