This week, Longwood University announced the finalists for the 2023 John Dos Passos Prize, which is the oldest literary award given by a Virginia college or university, and which honors “one of America’s most talented but underappreciated writers…whose work offers incisive, original commentary on American themes.” Previous recipients of the Dos Passos Prize include Maxine Hong Kingston (1998), Colson Whitehead (2012), Ruth Ozeki (2014), Paul Beatty (2015), Karen Tei Yamashita (2018), Rabih Alameddine (2019) and Monique Truong (2021).
The finalists for this year’s prize are:
Achy Obejas, author of Days of Awe (2001); Ruins (2009); The Tower of the Antilles (2017)
Brandon Hobson, author of Deep Ellum (2014); Where the Dead Sit Talking (2018); The Removed (2021)
Patricia Engel, author of The Veins of the Ocean (2016); Infinite Country (2021); The Faraway World (2023)
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, author of A Kind of Freedom (2017); The Revisioners (2019); On the Rooftop (2022)
“The works of these finalists engage motifs central to American life—identity, conflict, authority, the legacy of the past and the present—in ways that challenge conventions of form and reimagine what is possible in fiction,” said Dr. John Miller, associate professor of early American literature in the English department at Longwood and chair of the selection jury, in a press release.
The winner will be announced in October.