Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Illinois Department of English Blog


Welcome to the Department of English blog.

My name is Vicki Mahaffey and I took over as
head of the department on July 1, 2016. I'll be using this site to post updates and information of interest to our faculty, students, and alumni,
along with reflections about our discipline(s) in particular and the humanities in general. As anyone who has ever worked or studied here knows, the Department of English is a vibrant place. If you have something you'd like to see posted here, or if you want to contact me about the content of this blog, drop me an email at

Monday, April 23, 2012

Luminarium wins LA Times book prize; Shakar-mania sweeps nation

Alex Shakar's novel Luminarium was awarded the LA Times book prize last Friday as the best novel of 2011. I like the Times's headline: "Alex Shakar, Stephen King win Times Book Prizes"--but just who is this Stephen King fellow, anyway, and why is he horning in on Alex's glory? Wow! In a year where the Pulitzer judges were unable to agree upon a winner in fiction, this is the prize to win. And I liked this piece from the online site of the Wall Street Journal, too, which features Luminarium prominently among a shortlist of novels that would have been respectable Pulitzer choices.

Congratulations, Alex!

The paperback edition of Luminarium is scheduled to be printed on May 8, so now is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon.


In other author-related news: happy (sort of) birthday to William Shakespeare, whom age cannot wither.

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