M. O. Walsh, a writer from Baton Rouge, LA, won the Faulkner Society ’s 2011 Gold Medal for best Novel-in- Progress. His manuscript, Whiteflies, was selected by literary agent Jeff Kleinman of Folo Literary Management, who judged the category. He since has completed and sold this novel, renamed My Sunshine Away, to Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam. It was published in 2015 to high critical acclaim and became an immediate New York Times bestseller. An Amazon Featured Debut, and an NPR Top 100 book of 2015, My Sunshine Away won the Pat Conroy Book Prize for Fiction. Foreign editions have been published in the UK, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, Israel, Serbia, Turkey, South Korea, and Hungary. Of the book, the fiction writer Tom Franklin said, “My Sunshine Away is that rarest find, a page-turner you want to read slowly and a literary novel you can’t look away from. At times funny, at times spine-tinglingly suspenseful and at times just flat-out wise, this novel is also a meditation on memory, how it can destroy or damn us but redeem us as well. It’s a book to read and reread, one that will only get better with time…” The Kirkus Review said, “Celebrate fiction lovers: The Gods of Southern Gothic storytelling have inducted a new member.”
M.O. Walsh was born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA. He has spent his entire adult life in the American South, from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to the lakes of Mississippi to the hot green lawns of Louisiana, and would not want it any other way. Besides writing, his main interests are being fanatical about unimportant things like collegiate sports and slapstick comedies, trying out new bourbons, and trying to find the best roast beef po’ boy on the planet. He is also madly in love with his beautiful wife, genius daughter, and strapping young son. This also takes up a lot of his time.
His fiction ranges somewhat wildly from Magical Realism to traditional Southern storytelling to 2nd person Fabulism, while he is admittedly “not certain what those terms mean.” His first book, The Prospect of Magic was published in 2010 by Livingston Press as winner of the Tartt’s First Fiction Prize. Described by The Southern Literary Review as a book “so vivid…it brings Louisiana to life in a way that no [book] has done before…” The Prospect of Magic was a named an Editor’s Pick for Best Books of 2010 by Oxford American and was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award for General Fiction.
His fiction and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Oxford American, Epoch, and American Short Fiction and been anthologized in Best New American Voices, Best of the Net, Louisiana in Words, and Bar Stories. His first book, the short story collection The Prospect of Magic, won the Tartt’s First Fiction Prize, was a Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award in General Fiction, and was an Editor’s Pick for Best Book of 2010 by Oxford American. Currently, he is running The Creative Writing Workshop at The University of New Orleans. M. O. has “a wife named Sarah, a daughter named Magnolia, a dog named Gus, and I’m very happy.”