Maya Jasanoﬀ is the Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard University and the author of two award-winning works of nonﬁction. The ﬁrst, Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850 (2005), investigates Britain’s expansion into Egypt and India through the lens of European art collectors. Her most recent book, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (2011), was praised by critic and historian Linda Colley as “vivid, superbly researched and highly intelligent.” It tells the previously untold story of the more than sixty thousand loyalists who ﬂed the United States in the years following the American Revolution, settling in places as diverse as Jamaica, Nova Scotia, and Sierra Leone. Liberty’s Exiles won numerous distinctions, including the George Washington Book Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award. Jasanoﬀ has been an ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Fellow, a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library, and a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress. Her book reviews and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The Guardian and The New York Review of Books. Her new book The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World will be published by Penguin Press in November 2017.
The phone call is enough to put any writer at a loss for words. I'm beyond honored to receive the Windham-Campbell Prize, not only because of the astonishing encouragement it gives me to keep on doing the thing I love best, but also because of the incredible testament it offers to the importance of history at a critical time.