The Bellwether Prize

Posted on May 1, 2008 by ELCA World Hunger

I stumbled across an intriguing book list recently: winners of the Bellwether Prize. I love to read, and one of my favorite authors is Barbara Kingsolver. So when I read that she had founded a prize for literature, I immediately looked it up. Here are the introductory sentences from the Bellwether Prize web site:

“Fiction has a unique capacity to bring difficult issues to a broad readership on a personal level, creating empathy in a reader’s heart for the theoretical stranger. Its capacity for invoking moral and social responsibility is enormous. Throughout history, every movement toward a more peaceful and humane world has begun with those who imagined the possibilities. The Bellwether Prize seeks to support the imagination of humane possibilities.”

What a delightful surprise! A list of novels, recommended by a favorite author, that address social justice issues! It’s so satisfying when different aspects of one’s interests intersect. I am hopeful that some of these books will be another resource for starting conversation and reflection about hunger’s root causes.

I admit I haven’t read any of the winning books (is it embarrassing to admit I haven’t even heard of them?). It’s possible that the concept will outshine the reality and I’ll regret this blog later. But I’m sure looking forward to finding out!

-Nancy Michaelis
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