Hilary Sloin was an award-winning novelist, short fiction writer, essayist, poet, and playwright. She died at her home in Ashfield, Massachusetts on June 11, 2019. The cause of death was suicide, following a lifelong struggle with mental illness.
Hilary’s work has been published in many journals and anthologies including Parting Gifts, character i, Notes, Phoebe, and Lesbian Love Stories I and II. Her debut novel, Art on Fire, is the “pseudo-biography” of subversive painter Francesca deSilva, the founding foremother of “pseudorealism,” who lived hard and died young.
Art on Fire was awarded the Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature Award in 2014. And, it was awarded the Bywater Prize for Fiction, the Golden Crown Literary Debut Author Award, and the Ben Franklin Book Award Silver Medal. In addition, it shortlisted for the Heekin Foundation Award, the Mid-list Press Competition, the Dana Awards, Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Indie Book, ForeWord INDIES Gay & Lesbian Book of the Year, and the Story Oaks Prize. It received a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was mistakenly awarded the non-fiction prize in the Amherst Book and Plow Competition.
Hilary had been a resident at the Cottages at Hedgebrook and the Dorset Colony House, and during the ’80s and ’90s, her plays were produced in major cities across the country. She lived in Western Massachusetts and ran a thriving side business acquiring, restoring, and selling antiques.