Until last year, Nancy Flynn had never read a word by James Jones. But as soon as she checked out a library copy of "From Here to Eternity," she was drawn into Jones' landmark novel about Army life in the days before Pearl Harbor.
Flynn's sudden attraction to Jones' work was not accidental, but a duty she felt after entering the early chapters of her own novel, "Eden Undone," in the James Jones First Novel Fellowship competition.
In one respect, Flynn's instincts were correct. On the basis of the first 125 pages of her unfinished novel, set in the coal and steel regions of Pennsylvania, she's the first winner of the $2,000 fellowship, given by the James Jones Society.