Andrea Lawlor wins prestigious Whiting Award

Andrea Lawlor, whose recent novel, “Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl” garnered numerous accolades, received the 2020 Whiting Award.

By Keely Savoie

Andrea Lawlor, assistant professor of English, has received the 2020 Whiting Award, which is given by the Whiting Foundation in support of emerging authors whose work shows promise and excellence. This year is the 35th anniversary of the awards.

Whiting Awards are nomination-based and writers are unaware they are under consideration. 

“I had no idea it was coming,” said Lawlor. “It was such an unexpected honor, especially to be a part of this cohort.”

Among the esteemed writers Lawlor joins with receiving this year’s award are Ling Ma, Jia Tolentino, Jake Skeets and Jaqueria Díaz.

Past winners include Mount Holyoke alumna much-lauded playwright Suzan-Lori Parks ’85, as well as such luminaries as Tommy Pico, Brontez Purnell, Patty Yumi Cottrell, Rickey Laurentiis and Simone White.

Lawlor’s recent novel, “Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl,” has been widely recognized as a brilliant, innovative novel.

The award will enable Lawlor to devote more time to their writing.

“It’s so much more than the money,” they said. “It is having this organization supporting me, and to be in this cohort of amazing writers. It is unbelievable.”

Read more about Lawlor’s book and their teaching.

Related News

Alan Werner and Steven R. Dunn, professors of geology

Deciphering the planet’s secrets

Mount Holyoke geology professors tell US News & World Report that understanding the earth requires a firm grounding in liberal arts.

Jenica Allen

Tracking invasive species

Jenica Allen, manager of Mount Holyoke’s Campus Living Lab, was given the George Mercer Award from the Ecological Society of America.

Iyko Day

Anti-Asian violence continues to grow

Iyko Day, Mount Holyoke associate professor of English, talks about anti-Asian hate in America on NEPM’s Connecting Point.

This is a Zoom photograph of the Faculty Awards ceremony. Interim Dean of Faculty Dorothy Mosby, Paula Debnar, Leah Glasser, Kate Ballantine, Craig Woodard, and President Sonya Stephens are all on screen.

Awards highlight exceptional faculty

The recipients of the coveted Mount Holyoke College Faculty Awards were celebrated at a Zoom ceremony replete with warmth and kindness.

This is an abstracted neural stem cell on a teal background. It was made with mirrors, hand embroidery and paint.

Vaping perils

Maternal vaping affects offspring’s brains, says Associate Professor Jared Schwartzer of Mount Holyoke.

Find more stories >