Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction


Illinois Connection

Thompson-Spires is a Professor of English at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. 

Biographical and Professional Information

Nafissa Thompson-Spires earned a PhD in English from Vanderbilt and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, East Bay Review, Compose, Blinders, FLOW, The Feminist Wire, among other publications. She is a 2016 fellow of the Callaloo Writer's Workshop.

Watch an interview with Nafissa on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers at this link -

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- """Heads of the Colored People"""

-- *Longlisted, National Book Award for Fiction, 2018

-- *Longlisted, Aspen Words Literary Prize, 2018

-- *Finalist, Kirkus Prize, 2018

-- *PEN Open Book Award

-- *Whiting Award

-- *Nominated, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize

-- *Art Sidenbaum Award for First Fiction, The LA Times

-- *The Hurston/Wright Award for Fiction

-- ​*The Audie Award for Best Short Stories

-- *Finalist, Kirkus Prize

-- *Best Books List, Refinery29, 2018

-- *Best Books List, NPR, 2018

-- *Best Books List, The Root, 2018

-- *Best Books List, HuffPost, 2018

-- *Best Books List, Vanity Fair, 2018

-- *Best Books List, Bustle, 2018

-- *Best Books List, Chicago Tribune, 2018

-- *Best Books List, PopSugar, 2018

-- *Best Books List, The Undefeated, 2018