Grad Shortlisted For International Book Prize. Courant, 6/14/14

July 16, 2014

Grad Shortlisted For International Book Prize


June 14, 2014|Ben East, Greater Hartford


Ellington High School and Central Connecticut State University alum Ben East was shortlisted among ten finalists for the Dundee International Book Prize for his manuscript "Sea Never Dry."

The novel began as a short story about crooked cops and drug trafficking in West Africa, originally published as "One Dead Cop in 2012" by Umbrella Factory Magazine. Two years later, the story centers on development efforts in the region and the corrupt officials, tribal politics, and black magic that undermine progress there. Sea Never Dry is thick with spies, cops, and fetish priests, crooks, Internet fraudsters, and the unlucky Ghanaian orphans turning a buck on Accra's e-waste ash heaps.


After graduating from Ellington High in 1990 Ben earned an English degree from CCSU, joined the Peace Corps, and spent the next two decades working on various teaching and diplomatic assignments in Africa, the Middle East, and throughout the Americas. A Connecticut native, he recently returned to the United States where he lives in Virginia with his wife and two sons. His fiction and reviews have appeared in The Foreign Service Journal, Atticus Review, and Peace Corps Writers.

Over 400 entries were submitted for the 2014 prize, a collaboration between the University of Dundee, Cargo Publishing and Dundee City Council's "One City Many Discoveries" campaign. The shortlist will be whittled to three finalists before the winner is announced during the annual Dundee Literary Festival in October. Extracts of the top 10 will shortly be published in print and e-book formats.