Wednesday, April 10, 2024

An Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate is among the recipients of a prestigious literary award for emerging writers. 

Ada Zhang was named as one of 10 recipients of the Whiting Award, which is given annually to emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Each honoree receives $50,000 from the Whiting Foundation, one of the largest monetary gifts for early-career writers. 

Ada Zhang

Zhang, who is from Austin, Texas, completed her undergraduate degree at Baylor University and worked in publishing until enrolling in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with a Maytag Fellowship. She graduated from the workshop in 2020. 

Zhang’s short stories have appeared in several publications, such as A Public Space, McSweeney’s, and Alaska Quarterly Review. Her first story collection, The Sorrows of Others, was published in 2023. She was also a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree last year. 

Zhang’s “graceful, crystalline stories explore the paradox that historical silences and legacies of the past—in particular, the impact of the Cultural Revolution on Chinese Americans—can lead to new openings and new voices,” the foundation wrote in announcing the award.