UMass Amherst Alumnus Gabriel Bump (MFA ‘17) Receives the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence
AMHERST, Mass. – The MFA for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is pleased to announce that Gabriel Bump (MFA ‘17) was named the 2020 winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and his novel, “Everywhere You Don’t Belong” was selected as one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2020.
The 2020 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence serves to inspire and recognize rising African-American fiction writers of excellence. The award is known for its role in enhancing visibility of emerging African-American fiction writers. This year, Bump was selected to receive the Gaines Award for his outstanding debut novel, “Everywhere You Don’t Belong.”
Bump’s novel is a comically dark coming-of-age story about growing up on the South Side of Chicago. The book’s protagonist, Claude McCay Love, is an average kid finding ways to cope with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and social pressures. But, as Claude discovers, there is no safe haven for a young Black man in America.
Bump will be presented with the Gaines Award on Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. during a live virtual presentation. Audiences are welcome to view the event online at ernestjgainesaward.org
Adding to this exciting news, “Everywhere You Don’t Belong” was also selected by the editors of the New York Times Book Review as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2020.
This fall, Bump was featured in the nationally renowned Visiting Writers Series at UMass Amherst. The Series is sponsored by the MFA for Poets and Writers and the Juniper Initiative. It is made possible by support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the University of Massachusetts Arts Council, and the English department.
Bump grew up in South Shore, Chicago. His work has appeared in: The New York Times, McSweeney’s, Guernica, Electric Literature, SLAM, and elsewhere. His second novel is forthcoming, also from Algonquin. He currently lives in Buffalo, New York.