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MSU English instructor receives international honors for fiction

As a native of Rosine, Kentucky, MSU instructor of English and author Alex Taylor makes it a point to write what he knows. However, the effectiveness of his writing isn’t lost in translation when it makes its way overseas.
Taylor’s 2015 fatalistic crime novel “The Marble Orchard” has received a pair of honors in the past couple of years from France.

The book, which was originally published by IG in Brooklyn, New York, was translated into French and published by the Editions Gallmeister publishing company in 2017. Since then, the French translation of “Le Verger de Marbe” was named as a finalist for the 2017 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, a literary prize for the best crime/detective fiction in the country. He is currently one of five finalists for the 2018 Prix SNCF du Polar, which gives awards in the thriller genre in the categories of novels, comics and short films, and is voted on by French readers.

Taylor has been an instructor at MSU for six years and teaches creative writing and general English composition. This is Taylor’s second published book, the first was the 2010 short story collection “The Name of the Nearest River.” He writes short stories between novels and his short story “The Gypsy Rib” received the 2017 McGinnis-Ritchie, an annual award given to the best works of fiction and nonfiction published for the year in The Southwest Review.

He is currently working on a new novel centered on the life of a prison worker in Kentucky, but Taylor still feels flattered with the French recognition of his latest work.

“It’s quite an honor. Kind of a surreal feeling, because I don’t consider myself a very cosmopolitan person, I like small towns and I like Kentucky,” he said. “It’s nice to see that some of that ethos translates across the ocean.”

For more information on MSU’s Department of English, call 606-783-9448, email or visit