Jacinda Townsend


Southcentral Kentucky native and Fulbright Fellow Jacinda Townsend recently won the 2022 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for her novel Mother Country (Graywolf Press 2022), which explores themes of motherhood and slavery in Mauritania. Mother Country was also a finalist for the 2023 Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award.

Jacinda Townsend's novel, Trigger Warning, charts the epic, midlife-crisis road trip of a Black woman who in her 40s finally confronts the trauma of her father's killing by the police when she was a teenager, and who is now newly divorces and raising a trans teenager of her own, to Anni Liu at Graywolf Press by Elizabeth Wales, Wales Literary Agency (World English) --Publishers Marketplace, January 24, 2024.

Townsend also won the Janet Heidinger Kafka prize for best fiction written by a woman and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for best historical fiction for her previous novel Saint Monkey (Norton 2015).

 Jacinda teaches in the MFA program at Brown University, and is mom to two children who amaze her daily.

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