OXFORD, Mississippi — The Mississippi Library Association has announced the winners of the 2014 Mississippi Author Awards. Robert Khayat, author of The Education of a Lifetime (Nautilus), was named Mississippi Author of the Year in the nonfiction category. Previous winners in nonfiction include Eudora Welty, Willie Morris and Margaret Walker. The winner in the fiction category was Michael Farris Smith for his novel Rivers.
Otha Keys, Mississippi Author Awards committee member and a librarian at South Jones High School, said, “This memoir by Robert Khayat is one I could not put down. He is an excellent storyteller and he definitely has had an ‘education of a lifetime.’”
Robert Khayat, who heard about the award at his home in Oxford, said, “My family and I are profoundly grateful to the Mississippi Library Association for the Non-Fiction Award—a complete and pleasant surprise to us.”
“The overarching goal of the book was to move the perception of Ole Miss and Mississippi from 1962 to the present. I felt it was my responsibility to help others understand us . . . and for us to acknowledge our challenges,” Khayat added.