RIC Professor Emily Danforth Wins Montana Book Award

Emily Danforth, an assistant professor of English at Rhode Island College, has won the 2012 Montana Book Award for her novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post, a coming-of-age story intended for both adult and “young adult” audiences. 

The Montana Book Award committee describes the book as “an unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.”

It begins with a preadolescent kiss between protagonist Cameron and her friend, Irene. The next day Cameron’s parents die in an automobile accident, and the young girl is left riddled with guilt, feeling her forbidden kiss was somehow responsible for the accident.

Cameron is soon forced to live with her conservative Aunt Ruth and a grandmother in Miles City, Mont. As Cameron grows into her teenage years, she recognizes that she is a lesbian. When her aunt discovers Cameron is having an affair with another teenaged girl, she sends her to a church camp that promises to “cure” young people of their homosexuality. Cam’s experiences at the camp are at the heart of the novel.

The novel has been praised by critics as being “rich with detail and emotion,” “finely crafted,” “beautifully rendered” and a work “that keeps you reading way into the night.”

The Montana Book Award is an annual award that recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book published during the award year. Eligible titles are either set in Montana, deal with Montana themes/issues, or are written, edited or illustrated by a Montana author or artist. Books for all ages are considered for the award.