Eli Saslow

Cindy Seip

Eli Saslow is a reporter for The Washington Post. He is the author of Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President, American Hunger – which won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting – and Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist, winner of the 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Saslow was also a Pulitzer finalist in feature writing in 2013, 2016, and 2017. Voices from the Pandemic: Americans Tell Their Stories of Crisis, Courage, and Resilience (Doubleday) is based on a series that won the 2020 George Polk award for Oral History. It’s a portrait of a country grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic – from fear and overwhelm to extraordinary resilience – told through first-person of people from across America. Saslow began interviewing a cross-section of Americans at the pandemic’s onset, capturing their experiences in real time: An exhausted and anguished EMT risking his life in New York City; a grocery store owner feeding his neighborhood for free in locked-down New Orleans; an overwhelmed coroner in Georgia; a Maryland restaurateur forced to close his family business after 46 years; rural citizens adamant that the whole thing is a hoax; retail workers attacked for asking people to wear masks; and patients struggling to breathe. These deeply personal accounts make for cathartic reading, as we see Americans at both their worst and their resilient best.