C. E. Morgan

In language that is lush and bold C. E. Morgan’s ambitious fiction explores poverty, wealth, faith, eros, and the inextricable complications of race in America.

C. E. Morgan is the author of two novels, All the Living (2009) and The Sport of Kings (2016). In both works, Morgan presents detailed portraits of life in the rural American South, a geographical focus that she dilates to haunting narrative resonance. Her widely praised debut All the Living, set on a drought-stricken Kentucky tobacco farm in the 1980s, engages with complex social and political issues—the crushing force of poverty, the sometimes suffocating effect of small rural communities—while also exploring the paradoxical yearnings of faith. Her most recent novel The Sport of Kings amplifies the concerns of her first book, taking on the complicated and hazardous world of horse breeding, the life of America’s rural aristocracy, and the legacy of slavery in the North and South. Morgan’s themes are deeply serious, and her prose is simultaneously lush and unsparing. Angelica Baker, reviewing All the Living in Tin House, described her as writing with “all the deceptive simplicity of a poem and yet the incantatory resonance of a prayer.” A graduate of Berea College and the Harvard Divinity School, Morgan has been named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” as well as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.”

I am deeply moved to be a recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize. The generosity of this gift is astounding. C. E. MORGAN