The Institute announced the honor, recognizing sustained excellence in a literary career, at its meeting in Dallas in April. The organization observes its 75th anniversary this year.
Smith is the author of nine novels, including Thin Men of Haddam (Grossman/Viking, 1973), Country Music (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1975), The Vestal Virgin Room (Atheneum, 1983), Buffalo Nickel (Poseidon/Simon & Schuster, 1989), Hunter’s Trap (TCU Press, 1996), Understanding Women (TCU Press, 1998), Gabriel’s Eye (Winedale Publishing, 2001) and Purple Hearts (TCU Press, 2008).
Smith’s stories have appeared in Mademoiselle, Vision, Southwest Review, Sunstone Review, Carolina Quarterly, Quartet, Cimarron Review, American Literary Review, American Short Fiction and The Missouri Review, among other magazines.
He is also the author of Will They Love Me When I Leave? (Putnam, 1987), an autobiographical book about trying to stay close to his children after his first marriage ended in divorce. The book was published in paperback by Berkley in 1989 under Smith’s original title, Uncle Dad.
Previous winners of the Lon Tinkle Award include Larry McMurtry, Donald Barthelme, Marshall Terry, Horton Foote, Cormac McCarthy, Shelby Hearon, William Wittliff, David Weber and Larry L. King.