The award is in recognition of his book, Fiddler’s Ghost, published in 2007. It has been widely praised by critics for its lovingly authentic portrayal of the culture of Missouri’s Ozark region, including its dialect and history.
The award letter indicates that…
“Each year the Missouri Humanities Council and the Governor of Missouri celebrate the accomplishments of people who have made exceptional contributions to our understanding of Missouri, its people, and its stories.
The Book Award recognizes an individual or group whose book has increased our understanding and appreciation of Missouri’s history and culture..”
The award will be officially conveyed in October during a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City. Mitch isn’t 100% sure, but believes that this may be the first time the Governor’s Award has been given to a work of fiction.
Mitch’s wife, Diane, reacted to this honor as follows…
“I told Mitch that if a person lives long enough, the governor will either give them a full pardon or an award.”