Dec 6, 2021
Award-winning author and essayist, Vanessa Veselka, spoke to me about her transformation as an artist, writing out of necessity, and the journey from nervy debut to National Book Award longlist.
Vanessa is the author of the debut novel Zazen, which won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize in 2012.
Her second novel, The Great Offshore Grounds, was longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction 2020, and winner of the Oregon Book Awards' Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. The book has been described by author Roxane Gay as “A magnificent beast of a novel.... One of the rare novels that understands the realities of American poverty,” and was named one of "The 10 Best Books of 2020," by Vulture.
Vanessa's short stories have appeared in Tin House and ZYZZYVA, and her nonfiction in GQ, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, The Atavist, and was included in Best American Essays and the anthology Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism.
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