Longwood University is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2022 John Dos Passos Prize, the oldest literary award given by a Virginia college or university, which honors one of America’s most talented but underappreciated writers. This year’s list of finalists includes a PEN/Open Book Award winner, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, PEN/Jean Stein Award finalist, a Berlin Prize winner and a KEN Fiction Award winner.
The John Dos Passos Prize jury selected four finalists—all celebrated novelists and storytellers whose published works defy literary conventions and experiment with form. Their exceptional works are taught in college classrooms across the country.
The 2022 finalists with selected works are:
- Gina Apostol: Bibliolepsy; The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata; Insurrecto
- Carolina De Robertis: The President and the Frog; Cantoras; The Gods of Tango
- Jaime Manrique: Our Lives Are the Rivers; Cervantes Street; Like This Afternoon Forever
- John Wray: Canaan’s Tongue; Lowboy; Godsend
Launched in 1980, the prize is given annually by Longwood University to an underappreciated writer whose work offers incisive, original commentary on American themes. The winner of the prize receives an honorarium and will give a reading on Longwood’s campus in the spring of 2023.
The 2022 Dos Passos Prize selection jury comprises last year’s winner, novelist and essayist Monique Truong; Brandon Haffner, assistant professor of English at Longwood and chair of the selection jury; and Luke Whisnant, a novelist and English professor at East Carolina University. The committee looks for works that explore specifically American themes, experiment and encompass a range of human experiences.
“Each of these finalists is such an innovative stylist,” Haffner said. “Their novels, which call to mind Dos Passos’ wide-ranging voices and textures, are ambitious, inventive projects. It’s a joy to read them.”
Previous winners of the Dos Passos Prize have gone on to win prestigious literary awards, including Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards. They include Paul Beatty (2015), Ruth Ozeki (2014), Colson Whitehead (2012), Jill McCorkle (2000), Annie Proulx (1997), Shelby Foote (1988) and Tom Wolfe (1984).
The winner will be announced in the coming weeks.