Earlier this year, I predicted that Nafissa Thompson-Spires, a professor of Creative Writing at UIUC, would become a legendary author, and that her new book Heads of the Colored People would cement her place in the long history of our community playing host to immensely talented scribblers.
That prediction just took another leap in the right direction today, as the aforementioned collection of short stories has been long-listed for the National Book Award in Fiction.
For those of you who don't follow literature and its various awards, it's basically like the "Film of the Year" at the Oscars or "Record of the Year" at the Grammys. Colson Whitehead, who was just at Champaign Public Library last night, won the prize in 2016 for Underground Railroad. Another former UIUC writing professor, Richard Powers, won the award for his 2006 novel, The Echo Maker, as well.
It's a big big deal.
She is the real deal.
Buy it. Read it.
Photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz