Are these America’s “most talented but underappreciated” writers?

Emily Temple

November 21, 2022, 9:30am

On Friday, Longwood University announced the finalists for the 2022 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.”

The finalists for this year’s prize 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)

“Each of these finalists is such an innovative stylist,” Brandon Haffner, chair of the selection jury, said in a press release. “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 include Aleksander Hemon (2020), Paul Beatty (2015), Ruth Ozeki (2014), Colson Whitehead (2012), Jill McCorkle (2000), Annie Proulx (1997), Shelby Foote (1988), and Tom Wolfe (1984).

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