Winter 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 1 2022 Nonfiction ContestJanuary 31, 2023 |

2022 Nonfiction Contest Introduction

The Kenyon Review’s annual nonfiction contest was judged by Maggie Nelson, acclaimed author of books including Bluets, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, The Argonauts, and most recently, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint. From 560 entries, “Fish Tales” by Karen Kao swam to the top. In selecting Karen Kao as the winner, Nelson wrote: “Fish Tales” has great rhythm and propulsion. It’s pretty then gross then sad then worrying then exciting. It slips in and out of weird synecdoche, swerves with grace between divergent forms of address. It treads on cultural fault lines, familial discord, sensory experience, the move from childhood to adulthood, without wasting time explaining. I’d read a book of it. We are pleased to publish “Fish Tales” in this issue.

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Fish Tales

By Karen Kao

The Kenyon Review’s annual nonfiction contest was judged by Maggie Nelson, acclaimed author of books including Bluets, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, The Argonauts, and most recently, On Freedom: […]

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