Xochitl Gonzalez & Vauhini Vara announced 2023 Pulitzer Prize Finalists
Vauhini Vara (MFA 2010) was a finalist in Fiction for The Immortal King Rao
"About a tech genius turned exile and the daughter who is struggling to break free of his hold, a complicated family saga that is also an ambitious novel exploring topics such as climate change and the legacy of colonialism in a vibrant and surprisingly humorous voice."
Vara has worked as a Wall Street Journal technology reporter and as the business editor for The New Yorker. From a Dalit background, she is an O. Henry Prize winner. This is her first novel.
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"The Immortal King Rao, written by a former Wall Street Journal technology reporter, is a resonant debut novel obliterating the boundaries between literary and speculative fiction, the historic and the dystopian, confronting how we arrived at the age of technological capitalism and where our actions might take us next."
Xochitl Gonzalez (MFA 2021) was a finalist in Commentary for her work at The Atlantic
"For thoughtful, versatile and entertaining columns that explore how gentrification and the predominant white culture in the U.S. stifle the physical and emotional expression of racial minorities. (Moved by the jury from Criticism, where it originally was entered.)"
Gonzalez is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She is the New York Times best-selling author of Olga Dies Dreaming, and is writing and co–executive producing a television adaptation of the book. Her work has been published by Allure, Bustle, Vogue, and The Cut. Prior to writing, Gonzalez had an extensive career as a wedding planner, an entrepreneur, and a consultant. She sits on the board of the Lower Eastside Girls Club.
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Vara photo credit: Andrew Altschul