Cartoonist, writer and teacher Lynda Barry has been honored with Oregon State University’s Stone Award for literary achievement.
Barry will be honored on campus on April 29, 2021, with a possible virtual appearance possible.
The Stone Award comes with a cash prize of $20,000. Previous winners have included Colson Whitehead (last year’s honoree winner) plus Joyce Carol Oates, Tobias Wolff and Rita Dove.
The Stone Award is one of the largest prizes of its kind given by an American university. It was established in 2011 by Patrick and Vicki Stone to spotlight OSU’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the School of Writing, Literature and Film.
“With Lynda Barry, we’re reaching beyond the traditional literary world, and honoring a writer who not only composes across genres — memoir, nonfiction, fiction, workbooks — but also combines text and image in her work,” said Susan Jackson Rodgers, a professor in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts and former Master of Fine Arts program director.
Barry has authored 21 books, worked as a commentator for NPR, and had a regular monthly feature in Esquire, Mother Jones Magazine, Mademoiselle, and Salon. She created an album-length spoken word collection of stories called The Lynda Barry Experience, and was a frequent guest on the Late Show with David Letterman. She adapted her first novel, The Good Times are Killing Me, into a long running off-Broadway play, since published by Samuel French and performed throughout North America. Her book One! Hundred! Demons! was chosen as the Freshman all-read title at Stanford University. Her novel Cruddy was called “a work of terrible beauty” by the New York Times, and has been translated into French, Italian, German, Catalan and Hebrew. Her newest book, Making Comics, was awarded the 2020 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book + Best Publication Design.
Barry has received numerous awards and honors for her work, among them two William Eisner awards, the American Library Association’s Alex Award, the Wisconsin Library Association’s RR Donnelly Award, the Washington State Governor’s Award, the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Outreach Fellowship, The Museum of Wisconsin Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2017 Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonists Society. She also received an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Philadelphia University of Art in 2015, and was inducted into the Cartoonist’s Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2019 Lynda Barry was honored as a MacArthur Fellow (also known as the Genius Grant). The MacArthur Foundation website says: “Exuberant and generous as a teacher, Barry is removing the barriers that usually prevent people from writing and drawing and enabling artists and non-artists alike to take creative risks.” In 2020 she received the 2019 NCS Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year.
If you’re in Oregon in the Spring of 2021 register for the event.