New Orleans native to receive 22nd annual Louisiana Writer Award

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- New Orleans native Fatima Shaik has been selected as the recipient of the 22nd annual Louisiana Writer Award by the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana.

The Louisiana Writer Award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the state’s literary heritage exemplified by the artist’s body of work.

Shaik is a literary author whose research and commitment to the languages of Louisiana are evidenced by a long professional writing career in books, magazines and newspapers.

Shaik graduated from Boston University with a Bachelors of Science, and New York University with a Masters of Arts before working for the New Orleans-Times Picayune. Shaik went on to teach at at Saint Peter’s University in 1991 where she served as the first director of the Communications program until 2001. She served as an assistant professor, and retired in 2020.

Her books include her recent non-fiction work, Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood (The Historic New Orleans Collection) is on a largely forgotten aspect of Louisiana history

Shaik’s Economy Hall is described as “lyrical and mysterious and always captivating” by The New York Times.

Shaik also has two short story collections called The Mayor of New Orleans: Just Talking Jazz and What Went Missing and What Got Found. The Jazz of Our Street and On Mardi Gras Day are her two picture books for children, and she has written a young adult novel called Melitte.

All these works are set in Louisiana.

“I am honored to be recognized by my state. Louisiana is dear to my heart, and its cultural history is central to my work,” Shaik said. “Anyone who knows me knows that Louisiana is ‘home.’”

Shaik is to receive the Writer Award from the Louisiana Center For The Book on Saturday, Oct. 30 in Baton Rouge, LA at the Louisiana Book Festival’s opening ceremony.

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