Vanderbilt Magazine

MHS writer-in-residence Odie Lindsey recognized for latest novel

Odie Lindsey
Odie Lindsey

Odie Lindsey, writer-in-residence in medicine, health and society, has received the 2021 Award for Fiction from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters for his novel Some Go Home. The prize, awarded in disciplines such as visual arts, poetry and music composition, is the state of Mississippi’s highest designation for creative works. Previous MIAL winners include Walker Percy, Jesmyn Ward, Ellen Douglas, Natasha Tretheway and Richard Ford.

In Some Go Home (W.W. Norton, 2020), a female veteran from a small Mississippi town comes to realize that the culture of her homeplace, in particular her community’s link to a Civil Rights-era murder, is as traumatizing and complex as her combat experience.

The novel’s subject matter relates to much of Lindsey’s coursework in Vanderbilt’s Department of Medicine, Health and Society. The book’s storylines examine the impact of gender, class and race as accentuated by the militarized and memorialized South as well as the region’s ongoing relationship to violence. Additional influences on the novel include Lindsey’s work as associate editor of the Mississippi Encyclopedia (University Press of Mississippi, 2017) and his own military deployment. The protagonist in Some Go Home first appeared in Lindsey’s 2016 short story collection, We Come to Our Senses (W.W. Norton).

In addition to the MIAL prize, Lindsey has received the 2021 McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Nonfiction from the Southwest Review for his cover story essay on musician and artist Terry Allen. His current projects include a new story collection that examines the role of pop culture, memory and identity-making, and a novel that considers Nashville’s global entertainment industry and local Kurdish population.