First, you have to know that Katherine Vaz is an AMAZING person and I adore her. Second you have to know that she is a distinguished and extraordinary writer.
Katherine Vaz is amazing Briggs-Copeland Fellow in Fiction at Harvard, and then at Radcliee, and in Fall 2012 she was a Harman Fellow at Baruch College in New York. She's the author of the critically acclaimed novel Saudade (St. Martin’s Press, 1994), the first contemporary novel about Portuguese-Americans from a major New York publisher. It was optioned by Marlee Matlin/Solo One Productions and selected in the Barnes & Nobles Discover Great New Writers series.
Her second novel, Mariana, was selected by the Library of Congress as one of the Top 30 International Books of 1998 and has been translated into six languages.
Vaz's first short story collection Fado & Other Stories received the 1997 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Her second collection, Our Lady of the Artichokes, won the 200 Prairie Schooner Book Prize.
Vaz is a recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Davis Humanities Institute Fellowship (1999). She has been named by the Luso-Americano as one of the Top 50 Luso-Americanos of the twentieth century and is the first Portuguese-American to have her work recorded for the Library of Congress, housed in the Hispanic Division. The Portuguese-American Women’s Association (PAWA) named her 2003 Woman of the Year. She was appointed to the six-person U.S. Presidential Delegation to open the American Pavilion at the World’s Fair/Expo 98 in Lisbon. She lives in New York City and the Springs area of East Hampton with her husband Christopher Cerf.
AND because I could not embed the video for some reason, here is the link to her extraordinary video!