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Robert Kirsch Award

December 25, 1994

That Brian Moore, the winner of the 1994 Robert Kirsch Award, given for a body of work by a writer living in or writing on the American West, deserves such an award is beyond question; that he is a "distinguished novelist" is equally unassailable. But I take forceful exception to the designation by the anonymous judge who called him the "only one inescapable candidate" for such an award, as quoted by Jack Miles (Nov. 13). Both the anonymous judge and Miles impugn not only the many other fine writers living on the West Coast but the West Coast itself as a literary center. Would either writer even attempt to designate "the most distinguished writer" living on the East Coast? The provincialism that dogs West Coast writers is apparent in that rhetorical question.

JOHN RECHY, LOS ANGELES

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