Katherine Vaz, a Briggs-Copeland Fellow in Fiction at Harvard University, is the author of two novels, Mariana (HarperCollins/Flamingo, 1997), published in six languages and selected by the Library of Congress as one of the Top Thirty International Books of 1998, and Saudade (St. Martin’s Press, 1994), a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Authors selection. Her collection Fado & Other Stories (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997) won the 1997 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, and her fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, including Tin House, BOMB, the Antioch Review, the Iowa Review, and Provincetown Arts Journal. Her latest story, “Lisbon Story” in Harvard Review (Spring 2006), reflects the focus on Portuguese and Luso-American subjects in her fiction.
Vaz will continue this emphasis during her Radcliffe year by writing her fourth book, “Below the Salt,” a novel based on the true story of a Portuguese Protestant seamstress who fled religious violence in Madeira and was granted refuge in the Lincoln household. The story also tells of the love between the seamstress and a fellow refugee who courted her before and after the American Civil War.
Vaz is the first Portuguese American whose work has been recorded for the Hispanic division of the Library of Congress. She was a member of the six-person US Presidential Delegation sent to the World's Fair/Expo 98 in Lisbon. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in 1993.