Novelist Antoine Wilson has been named the recipient of California State University, Northridge’s inaugural San Fernando Valley Award for Fiction.
The honor was created by the Friends of the Oviatt Library at CSUN to recognize the role the San Fernando Valley plays in the larger story of Los Angeles. Wilson will receive the honor for his book “Panorama City,” in which the San Fernando Valley community of Panorama City played a prominent role.
“The San Fernando Valley has been, and continues to be, home to an impressively diverse and prolific population of creative writers,” says Oviatt Library Dean Mark Stover. “When incorporating our region as a backdrop or some kind of influential force in the stories that they tell, writers often provide a view or experience of the San Fernando Valley that is wholly new — even for readers who were born and raised in the valley.”
Wilson said he was pleased to receive the distinction.
“I was delighted to hear that I had won the award,” said Wilson. “I am honored to be recognized for my depiction of the San Fernando Valley all the more because the setting is filtered through my narrator’s rather unique perspective.”
Inspired by the Spanish novel, Don Quixote, Wilson wrote “Panorama City” with the idea of creating a huge, contemporary road comedy novel.
Wilson said his story ended up straying from his initial inspiration. Its plot became about a man who recorded his life story for his unborn son because he believed he was dying. The main character’s tale is conveyed through a tape recorder and is described as a journey of “self-determination, from village idiot to man of the world.”
Wilson will receive the honor at a presentation ceremony at the university’s Orange Grove Bistro on June 8, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The author will present insights and excerpts from his work and sign copies of his books, which will be available for purchase during the event.
For additional information, please visit the Friends of the Oviatt Library and the San Fernando Valley Awards for Fiction and Non-Fiction. Information about all library events can be found at the Exhibitions & Events page on the library’s website or by calling (818) 677-2638.