Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Daleen Berry, a 2008 Fairmont State University graduate and the award-winning author of the memoir, "Sister of Silence," is the recipient of West Virginia's first "Pearl S. Buck Award, Writing for Social Change" award.

Berry's second book, "Lethal Silence," due to be published later this year, took the first-place honor at the annual West Virginia Writers Conference, held June 8 and 9 at Cedar Lakes Conference Center. "Lethal Silence" looks at several case studies involving families whose lives were shattered by a lethal silence that left children dead, and the role such stressors as child sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, depression and domestic violence played.

This is the first time the Pearl Buck category has been included in the competition, and the winners were sponsored in part by the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation.

Dr. Edwina Pendarvis, a professor emeritus at Marshall University, judged the entries. She said Berry's book is important because it will make a difference in people's perceptions of these social issues.

During her time at Fairmont State, Berry was editor of the student-run newspaper, The Columns.