Department of English

Hannah Abrams - winner of 2013 Whiting Writers' Awards

Abrams Wins Whiting

$50,000 Award Given to Dolls

New York, Oct. 21 - Hannah Abrams, lecturer in the Department of English, was named today one of the 10 winners of the 2013 Whiting Writers' Awards for her 2012 novella, The Man Who Danced with Dolls. The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation sponsors the awards of $50,000 each. They have been given annually since 1985 to writers of exceptional talent and promise in early career.

The program has awarded more than $6 million to 290 poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, and playwrights. During the award's 29-year history, it has established an impressive record of identifying brilliant writers before they have achieved acclaim and prominence in their fields. Past recipients include Ben Fountain, Alice McDermott, Jonathan Franzen, Amy Wilentz, Adam Johnson, Stanley Crouch, Sarah Ruhl, Mary Karr, C.D. Wright, Colson Whitehead, Mark Doty, Michael Cunningham, Terrance Hayes, and Cristina Garcia. For a complete list of past recipients, go here.

The 2013 winners consist of one playwright, two poets, one non-fiction writer, four fiction writers, and two writers of both fiction and non-fiction. "We are very pleased that the Whiting Selection Committee has recognized the abundance of talent and promise in these ten extraordinary writers, some of whom have been doing remarkable work under the radar of the larger literary world," says Barbara Bristol, Director of the Writers' Program. "It is our hope that this recognition will help them move on to their next undertaking - and we look forward eagerly to seeing what that will be." The 2013 recipients were announced at a ceremony at the Times Center.

Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams' novella, The Man Who Danced with Dolls, was published in 2012 by Madras Press. It is the portrait of a family's legacy - the language of their memories, the secrets of their buried past, and the subway busker whose wordless dancing punctuates their lives. She holds an MFA ('07) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she now teaches in the English Department.

Abrams is the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award, a Hartshook Fellowship, and a Byington Award. Born on Guam, Abrams is currently at work on her memoir, The Following Sea, about growing up on a cutter that made port throughout the South Pacific. About winning a Whiting, she says, "Not only does it make time and solitude and quiet possible, but it rekindles a sometimes flickering faith in the work itself."