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Who are America’s most talented but under-appreciated writers?

Katie Yee

August 14, 2020, 1:31pm

Every year, Longwood University’s John Dos Passos Prize sets out to celebrate one vital but under-appreciated writer. Previous recipients include Colson Whitehead, Tom Wolfe, and Annie Proulx. (Obviously, they were awarded the Dos Passos Prize before they won, say, two Pulitzer Prizes.) This year’s finalists were announced today.

“These finalists represent everything the Dos Passos Prize for Literature is about. Their books are innovative, smart, challenging and resistant to easy categorization … These finalists represent various styles, subjects and places, but all six explore crucial truths about the American experience,” said Brandon Haffner, chair of the selection jury. 

Stay tuned: the winner will be announced next month. Congratulations to the finalists!


Alexander CheeThe Queen of the NightEdinburgh

Aleksandar HemonThe Lazarus ProjectNowhere Man

Gish JenTypical AmericanThe Resisters

Dana JohnsonElsewhere, CaliforniaBreak Any Woman Down

Hari KunzruWhite TearsGods Without Men

Valeria LuiselliThe Story of My TeethLost Children Archive

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