Best New Novel - 2001
Kissing the Virgin's Mouth
Before she moved to Colorado, Donna Gershten ran a health club in Mexico -- and she put that experience to good use in Kissing the Virgin's Mouth. Her haunting, lyrical novel won not only raves from critics, but also the first $10,000 Bellwether Prize for Fiction, established by Barbara Kingsolver when the best-selling author was feeling flush and decided to do her bit to help out other authors. "This is the kind of book you inhale in one breath and can't forget afterward," Kingsolver says of Gershten's work. Mexico's loss is our gain.