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Nafissa Thompson-Spires    

Author of "Heads of the Colored People"

Nafissa Thompson-Spires earned a PhD in English from Vanderbilt University and an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeny’s “The Organist,” The Paris Review Daily, Dissent, Buzzfeed Books, The White Review, and other publications. Her short story “Heads of the Colored People…” won StoryQuarterly’s 2016 Fiction Prize, judged by Mat Johnson. Her writing has received support from Callaloo, Tin House, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing.

Her first book, "Heads of the Colored People", was long-listed for the 2018 National Book Award, the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Award, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize; was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction; and has won the PEN Open Book Award and an Audie Award.

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