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Lars Horn has won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.

Katie Yee

September 2, 2020, 12:00pm

The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize was created to celebrate the art of literary nonfiction and encourage emerging writers. You definitely know its previous winners, which include Esmé Weijun Wang (for The Collected Schizophrenias) and Leslie Jamison (for The Empathy Exams). Now you can add Lars Horn to the list.

Voice of the Fish (selected out of more than 600 manuscripts!) uses a combination of personal essay, mythology, and marine history to explore the body, gender, sexuality, and transmasculinity. Inside Voice of the Fish, Horn depicts the experiences of traveling through Georgia and living in Russia as queer and transmasculine, modeling in baths of dead squid for their mother’s photography projects, and much more.

Of the win, Horn says, “Living in a body I have difficulty recognizing as my own, a body I somehow perceive at disjoint from myself, I never thought that I might find some rough peace in these limbs. I definitely never thought that I would be able to write of myself—honestly, openly. To be seen. I did not think I could win this prize. It comes unexpectedly, vitally.”

Featured photo by María Esquinca.

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