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The Center for Fiction Presents Katherine Vaz on Above the Salt

November 14, 2023

The Center for Fiction welcomed Katherine Vaz to celebrate her latest novel. Above the Salt follows two Portuguese refugees fleeing political violence who reunite in mid-nineteenth-century Illinois, on the cusp of the Civil War. The star-crossed lovers are torn between love and duty, their story unfolding at the site of Abraham Lincoln’s home. We hosted a lively presentation from Vaz on the research she conducted for the historical novel, maintaining momentum on a writing project that took eighteen years to complete, and her career at the forefront of the Portuguese-American literary landscape.


  • Katherine Vaz by Beowulf Sheehan

    Katherine Vaz

    Katherine Vaz

    Katherine Vaz, a former Briggs-Copeland fellow in fiction at Harvard University and a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, is the author of the novels Saudade, on the Discover Great New Writers list with Barnes & Noble, and Mariana, in six languages and optioned by Harrison Productions. Her collection Fado & Other Stories won a Drue Heinz Literature Prize, and Our Lady of the Artichokes & Other Portuguese-American Stories received a Prairie Schooner Book Award. Her fiction has appeared in dozens of magazines, including Tin House, BOMB, Antioch Review, Iowa Review, the Common, Narrative, Ninth Letter, and Glimmer Train. She is the first Portuguese American to have her work recorded for the Archives of the Library of Congress (Hispanic division).

    Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan