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by Ryan Carroll

This week, the DOECL wishes a hearty congratulations to Creative Writing Professor Karen Tucker, whose novel BEWILDERNESS was longlisted for the prestigious Aspen Words Literary Prize.

The Aspen Words Prize is an annual for “a work of fiction that addresses a vital contemporary issue” and “that demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture,” according to the Aspen Institute. Five finalists from the longlist will be announced in February and the Aspen Words winner will be announced in April.

Set in a small Appalachian town, Bewilderness is an incisive look into the many dimensions of the opioid epidemic and its intersections with the health insurance and restaurant industries. In an interview with the ECL last year, Professor Tucker shared that, with the novel, she is “trying to chip away at persistent social stigmas and coax U.S. policymakers towards decriminalization, while telling what I hope will be a great story.”

To learn more about the book, you can read INDY Week’s feature on Professor Tucker earlier this fall. Congratulations!

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