Competition: US & Canada
Oscar Cásares writes about life on the U.S.-Mexico border, but in a larger sense, he gives voice to what it means to live simultaneously in two worlds, moving amid languages, cultures, and identities. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he is the author of Amigoland and Brownsville, which was selected by the American Library Association as a Notable Book of 2004, and is used widely at universities across the country. His most recent novel, Where We Come From, was described by one reviewer as being about “the great lengths humans will go in order to be seen, to be touched, to be loved.” Cásares is the recipient of fellowships from the Copernicus Society of America, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Harry Ransom Center is establishing an archive of his work, with the acquisition projected for fall 2020. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin.
His current project involves developing a lexicon of the U.S.-Mexico border, one that reflects the distinct ways his characters often express themselves in two languages at once. The lexicon entries will be defined with short narratives that together create a more complex story.
Photo Credit: Joel Salcido