Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Olmsted room, Mandelle Hall
Join the 2023 GLCA New Writers Award for Nonfiction winner,
Lars Horn, as they give a talk and read from their award
winning book, Voice of the Fish.
Lars Horn is a writer and translator working in literary and experimental non-fiction. Their first book, VOICE OF THE FISH, won the 2020 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, the 2023 Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, and was named an Honor Book for the 2023 Stonewall Israel Fishman Nonfiction Book Award as well as an American Booksellers Association Indies Introduce Selection. Horn’s writing has appeared in Granta, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Kenyon Review, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Literary Hub, and elsewhere.
Lars holds MAs from the University of Edinburgh, the École normale supérieure, Paris, and Concordia University, Montreal. They teach at Columbia University and live in New York with their wife, the writer Jaquira Díaz.
Lars Horn’s Voice of the Fish, the latest Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize winner, is an interwoven essay collection that explores the trans experience through themes of water, fish, and mythology, set against the backdrop of travels in Russia and a debilitating back injury that left Horn temporarily unable to speak. In Horn’s adept hands, the collection takes shape as a unified book: short vignettes about fish, reliquaries, and antiquities serve as interludes between longer essays, knitting together a sinuous, wave-like form that flows across the book.
Horn swims through a range of subjects, roving across marine history, theology, questions of the body and gender, sexuality, transmasculinity, and illness. From Horn’s upbringing with a mother who used them as a model in photos and art installations—memorably in a photography session in an ice bath with dead squid—to Horn’s travels before they were out as trans, these essays are linked by a desire to interrogate liminal physicalities. Horn reexamines the oft-presumed uniformity of bodily experience, breaking down the implied singularity of “the body” as cultural and scientific object. The essays instead privilege ways of seeing and being that resist binaries, ways that falter, fracture, mutate. A sui generis work of nonfiction, Voice of the Fish blends the aquatic, mystical, and physical to reach a place beyond them all.