Condray Chosen as 2021 Worthen Literary Prize Recipient

headshot of kathleen condrayThe Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) has announced the 2021 recipient of the Worthen Literary Prize. Kathleen Condray was chosen for her book, Das Arkansas Echo: A Year in the Life of Germans in the Nineteenth-Century South, which offers a fresh perspective on the German speakers who settled in a modernizing Arkansas. Mining the archive of the German language newspaper Das Arkansas Echo, Condray sheds light on how these immigrants navigated their new identity as southern Americans.

Condray is a professor of German at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She has received two Fulbright awards, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and several national awards for her teaching. Her book was published by the University of Arkansas Press.
“I am honored to be the 2021 Worthen Literary Prize award winner, and I thank the committee, the Worthen family, and CALS. It has been a rare privilege to explore the lives of German-speaking immigrants to Arkansas in their own words, especially since they were so adamant about passing their language to their children and grandchildren.” Kathleen Condray said, “They were convinced they could help enrich the state of Arkansas because of the culture and values they brought with them. I hope we current Arkansans can continue to appreciate all that immigrants and other newcomers to the state have to offer.”

CALS anticipates presenting the Worthen Prize on October 7th at a program held in conjunction with the presentation of the Porter Prize at CALS’ Darragh Center. The time will be announced later.

About the Worthen Prize

The Booker Worthen Literary Prize is awarded each year to the best work, fiction or non-fiction, by an author living in Arkansas. With a stipend of $2,000, it is one of the state’s most lucrative and prestigious literary prizes.

The Booker Worthen Literary Prize was established in 1999 in the memory of William Booker Worthen, who was a member of the CALS Board of Trustees for twenty-two years, as well as part of the Worthen Bank empire. The award is funded in part by interest from an endowment for the award donated by the Worthen family and the winning book is selected by the Worthen Prize Committee. For more information about about the Worthen Prize, please contact Bob Razer at