Second Award for Gansworth's Novel, Extra Indians

October 19, 2011


BUFFALO, NY - The Before Columbus Foundation (BCF) honored Extra Indians, the most recent novel by Canisius College Professor of English and Lowery Writer-in-Residence Eric Gansworth, with its 2011 American Book Award. Gansworth accepted his award at a ceremony at the University of California, Berkeley on October 16.

Extra Indians (Milkweed, 2010) tells the story of Tommy Jack McMorsey, a Vietnam veteran and long-haul trucker who, in a moment of kindness, picks up a deluded Japanese tourist. When she dies of exposure in his care, a media storm erupts and evokes a series of memories from McMorsey’s past, including his days in Vietnam, his best friend’s suicide, and the wife he almost lost. The event also brings McMorsey’s surrogate son and an American Indian woman, who may or may not be his daughter, to Texas in search of answers.

The Before Columbus Foundation, founded in 1976, is a nonprofit educational and service organizational and service organization dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of contemporary American multicultural literature. The goals of BCF are to provide recognition and a wider audience for the wealth of cultural and ethnic diversity that constitutes American writing. The American Book Awards are not associated with any industry group or trade organization. Award winners are nominated and selected by a panel of writers, editors and publishers who also represent the diversity of American literary culture. 

Gansworth is a nationally-recognized, award-winning writer, visual artist and playwright whose impressive works range from poetry and painting, to novels and collaborative multimedia theater performances. He is a member of the Onondaga Nation. Extra Indians is Gansworth’s fourth novel and ninth book.

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius College is the premier private university in Western New York.