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When her novel, The Price of a Child, was selected for a citywide reading project last year, writer Lorene Cary C’78 G’78 appeared at more than 45 community meetings to promote literacy and libraries, and to encourage Philadelphians to come together for discussion of the book. 

In June she was honored with The Philadelphia Award for her work “to advance the best and largest interest of the community.” Previous winners have included Marian Anderson, Eugene Ormandy, the Hon. Walter Annenberg W’31 Hon’66, and the Hon. Edward G. Rendell C’65 Hon’00. The prize includes a $25,000 honorarium.

Cary is a senior lecturer in English and also the founder of Art Sanctuary [Profiles, July/August 2000], a program that brings prominent minority writers, musicians, and poets to perform in a North Philadelphia church.

“She is a writer with a unique and powerful voice, a community champion, and local heroine,” said William J. Marrazzo, chair of the Philadelphia Award Trustees and president and CEO of WHYY. “Lorene Cary is being honored because she is a visionary in arts and culture leadership, a respected educator and gifted storyteller who conveys the powerful themes of family, spirituality, race, and slavery.”

Cary’s novel, The Price of a Child (Knopf, 1995) tells the story of a mother who is a slave and the price she paid for her own freedom. Her other books include the memoir BlackIce and the novel Pride.

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