Skip Navigation
Falvey Library
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

Villanova Theatre Professor James Ijames’ Pulitzer Prize Winning Play Nominated for Five Tony Awards

James Ijames portrait by Lowell Thomas.

James Ijames portrait by Lowell Thomas.

Villanova University Theatre Professor James Ijames’ play “Fat Ham” has been nominated for five Tony Awards including:

Ijames was awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for “Fat Ham,” a play that “deftly transposes ‘Hamlet’ to a family barbecue in the American South to grapple with questions of identity, kinship, responsibility, and honesty.” From the “Fat Ham” Broadway website: “Juicy is a queer, Southern college kid, already grappling with some serious questions of identity, when the ghost of his father shows up in their backyard, demanding that Juicy avenge his murder. But here’s the rub! Revenge doesn’t come easy to Juicy, a sensitive and self-aware young Black man in search of his own happiness and liberation. From an uproarious family cookout emerges a compelling examination of love and loss, pain and joy.”

Produced by The Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, “Fat Ham” premiered as a video stream in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Performed for sold out shows at The Public Theater in New York, NY, last spring, the play is currently showing at The American Airlines Theatre on Broadway. For ticket information, visit the “Fat Ham” website. While the show ends its run in New York, NY, on June 25, 2023, “Fat Ham” will open The Wilma Theatre’s 2023-24 season. Directed by Amina Robinson, “Fat Ham” will run from Nov. 24, 2023, through Dec. 17, 2023.

An Associate Professor of Theatre at Villanova University, Ijames is a playwright, director, performer, and educator. He received a BA in Drama from Morehouse College and a MFA in Acting from Temple University. Explore Ijames’ work and accolades here, and view the additional resources below:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. Tune in to the 76th Tony Awards on Sunday, June 11, at 8 p.m. The ceremony is scheduled to air on CBS after striking Writers Union agrees to an altered format








Dig Deeper: 2023 Pulitzer Prize Winner, Hua Hsu

Hua Hsu. Photo: Devlin Claro.

Last week, Hua Hsu was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his memoir Stay True.

The narrative centers around Hsu and his friendship with University of California, Berkeley classmate, Ken. Two different identities, Ken, whose family had been in the United States for generations, represented everything that Hsu, a first-generation Taiwanese American, defined himself against—mainstream America. The two became friends, both agreeing that despite their differences, “American culture didn’t seem to have a place for either of them.”

Three years after their initial meeting, Ken is killed in carjacking in Vallejo, Calif., in July 1998, after a party in Berkeley. “Determined to hold on to all that was left of his best friend-his memories-Hsu turned to writing…A coming-of-age story that details both the ordinary and extraordinary, Stay True is a bracing memoir about growing up, and about moving through the world in search of meaning and belonging.”

Hua Hsu is the author of A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific. A staff writer at The New Yorker, Hsu’s work has been published in Artforum, The Atlantic, Slate, and The Wire. A former fellow at the New American Foundation and the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, Hsu is a professor of Literature at Bard College. He received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from Harvard University.

For more information on Hsu, dig deeper and explore the links below:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library.




1 People Like This Post

Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced Along with Booker Prize Finalists

By Ethan Shea


2021 Pulitzer Prize

On June 11, 2021, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced the winners of prizes in Journalism, Books, Drama, and Music. This recent recognition of excellence in the aforementioned fields is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of truth and art in our everyday lives.

Pulitzer Prizes are traditionally awarded annually in April, but like most events over the past year and a half, the ceremony was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. The reason this prestigious prize is trending once again is because last month, on Aug. 27, a special citation and grant of $100,000 was awarded to journalists in Afghanistan to commend their efforts to give ordinary people access to truth amid dangerous circumstances.

Villanova University is committed to giving students access to reputable sources of information. In fact, all Villanova students, staff, and faculty members have complimentary access to both The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. It is important to take advantage of these resources, especially during the current age of mass information.

Additionally, Falvey Memorial Library’s database tool makes research on any of the following topics possible. Innumerable databases that contain a wide array of scholarly articles are available here. Students are encouraged to be critical consumers of information and use these resources to do their own research on whichever prevailing topics may interest them.

To return to the subject of Pulitzer recipients, here are some notable winners from this year’s award selection:

The New York Times

The New York Times was awarded the prize for public service in recognition of their coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The organization’s reporting has directly helped individuals protect themselves and others against a virus that continues to challenge the global health care community.

Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing, and Christo Buschek

These reporters for BuzzFeed News were awarded the international reporting prize for bringing the systematic mass incarceration of Uighur Muslims in China to light. At least 268 internment camps or prisons were discovered as a result of their work, and recent reporting continues to reveal atrocities taking place at these locations.

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz

This collection of poetry is described by The New York Times as “one of the most important poetry releases in years”. Diaz’s work focuses on the experiences of queer women of color and makes use of beautiful imagery that calls upon her own life as a Native American growing up in Fort Mojave in Needles, California.

Darnella Frazier

On May 25, 2020, Ms. Frazier used her cellphone to document the murder of George Floyd on video. Her recording fueled protests against police brutality across the globe and ultimately led to the conviction of Floyd’s killer. This profoundly impactful act of journalism was awarded with a special citation by the Pulitzer Prize Board.

A complete list of winners is available here.


2021 Booker Prize


Even more recently, the final shortlist of nominees for the Booker Prize was announced. The Booker Prize is a prestigious award given to the best novel written in English and published in either Britain or Ireland. In 2014, rules regarding the prize changed to allow any English-language novel to qualify. Rather than only allowing writers from Britain, Ireland, Zimbabwe, and the Commonwealth into the competition, the Booker Prize committee started to welcome writers of all nationalities.

This change was met with criticism in 2018 after prominent writers such as Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, and Zadie Smith voiced concern over Americans winning the award in two consecutive years. The group argued that in an attempt to diversify the prize’s pool of nominees, the Booker Prize actually became more homogenized. The proposed solution to this issue was to bar Americans from the competition.

This year, three of the six finalists are American, so some are worried the aforementioned concerns will be renewed. Critics of the suggested American ban assert that it is critical for literary circles to broaden their horizons and push for inclusivity. Therefore, calls to narrow the scope of Booker Prize applicants seem counter-intuitive.

Nonetheless, this year’s shortlist is comprised of several spectacular nominees. The list includes A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam, The Promise by Damon Galgut, No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood, The Fortunate Men by Nadifa Mohamed, Bewilderment by Richard Powers, and Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead.

You can find more information on this year’s Booker Prize nominees here.

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.




Last Modified: September 29, 2021

Ask Us: Live Chat
Back to Top