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Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize Winners

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Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford, in Loraine, Ohio, and worked as an editor at Random House, a critic, and a public lecturer. She made her debut as a novelist in 1970 with The Bluest Eye, and has written nine novels overall. Her other works include children’s books, plays, short fiction, and non-fiction. She has won many awards, including the American Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and, of course, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction for Song of Solomon in 1977.

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Ursula LeGuin

Ursula LeGuin was born in Berkeley, California. She writes both poetry and prose in various modes, including realistic fiction, science fiction, fantasy, young children’s books, screenplays, essays, verbal text for musicians, and voice texts. She has published seven books of poetry, twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, and four volumes of translation. A few of the awards she has won for her prolific work include the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the National Book Award, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction for Always Coming Home in 1985.

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Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett was born in Los Angeles, but was raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Patchett sold her first story to the Paris Review before she graduated from college. In 1992 she released her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, which was named a New York Times Notable Book for the year. Patchett’s second novel, Taft, won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction in 1994. She wrote two more novels after Taft, most notably Bel Canto, which went on to win both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize.

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Saher Alam

Saher Alam was born in Lucknow, India and moved to the United States when she was five. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. Alam also held a Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction at Emory University from 1998 to 2000, and her short stories have been featured in the anthology Best of the Fiction Workshops 1999, as well as the journals Literary Imagination and Five Chapters. Her debut novel, The Groom To Have Been, won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction in 2008.

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Linda LeGarde Grover

Linda LeGarde Grover is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe and an assistant professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The Dance Boots, her debut story collection, was co-winner of the 2009 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction.  She is the coauthor of A Childhood in Minnesota: Exploring the Lives of Ojibwe and Immigrant Families 1880–1920, and the author of a poetry chapbook, The Indian at Indian School. She is the winner of the 2011 Kafka Prize for Fiction for The Dance Boots.

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