William H. Gass, Ph.D., the David May Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Humanities in Arts & Sciences, was presented with the 2007 Saint Louis Literary Award during a ceremony Oct. 24 at Saint Louis University.
Past recipients of the honor include Saul Bellow, Eudora Welty, John Updike, Richard Ford, Joan Didion and Chinua Achebe.
Gass taught for 30 years in the Department of Philosophy in Arts & Sciences. He is the author of several novels, two story collections and several works of collected essays.
He has won numerous major literary awards during his career, including the National Book Critics Circle Award an unprecedented three times: in 1985 for “Habitations of the Word: Essays;” in 1996 for “Finding a Form;” and in 2003 for “Tests of Time.”
He also won the 1997 Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2000 PEN/Nabokov Award and the PEN/Nabokov Lifetime Achievement Award, which he has called his “most prized prize.”
He was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1982 and to the Institute of Arts & Letters in 1983.
Gass was the founder (in 1990) and first director of the University’s International Writers Center in Arts & Sciences — now known as The Center for the Humanities.