Author Jesmyn Ward has been chosen as the recipient of the 2022 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, making her the youngest person to receive the Library’s fiction award. She is 45.
The annual American fiction prize honors an American literary writer whose work is distinguished not only for mastery of the art but also for originality of thought and imagination.
“Jesmyn Ward’s literary vision continues to become more expansive and piercing, addressing urgent questions about racism and social injustice being voiced by Americans,” said Carla Hayden, who is the Librarian of Congress. “Jesmyn’s writing is precise yet magical, and I am pleased to recognize her contributions to literature with this prize.”
The virtual prize ceremony will take place at the 2022 National Book Festival on Sept. 3 in D.C.
Ward’s novels include Where the Line Bleeds; Salvage the Bones, winner of the 2011 National Book Award; and Sing, Unburied, Sing, winner of the 2017 National Book Award. Her nonfiction work includes memoir Men We Reaped, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and 2020’s Navigate Your Stars. Ward is also editor of the anthology The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race.
Ward is a professor of creative writing at Tulane University.