2019 New American Voices Award Finalists

2019 New American Voices Award Finalists

Novelists Melissa Rivero, author of The Affairs of the Falcóns, Eugenia Kim, author of The Kinship of Secrets, and Angie Kim, author of the Miracle Creek, have been named finalists for the second annual Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award. This post-publication book prize was created to recognize recently published works that illuminate the complexity of human experience as told by immigrants, whose work is historically underrepresented in writing and publishing. This year’s contest was judged by Reyna Grande, Alia Malek, and E.C. Osondu. Learn more about the judges.

All three finalists will read at the award ceremony on Thursday, October 10 at Fall for the Book. 




Meet the Finalists

Angie Kim_New American Voices Finalist

Angie Kim is the debut author of the national bestseller Miracle Creek, a literary courtroom drama that has been named a LibraryReads Selection, an IndieNext pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, a Book of the Month Club selection, and Apple Books’ Top Ten Debuts of 2019, as well as named a best book by Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, and Real Simple. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Salon, and Slate. She moved from Seoul, Korea, to Baltimore as a preteen, and attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, then practiced as a trial lawyer at Williams & Connolly. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three sons.


From the Judges:

“Woven into this murder mystery is a careful examination of the complexities of immigration and the fragile bond between a parent and child.”



Eugenia Kim New American Voices finalist 2019

Eugenia Kim’s debut novel, The Calligrapher’s Daughter, won the Borders Original Voices Award, was shortlisted for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was a Washington Post Best Historical Novel and Critic’s Pick. Her second novel, The Kinship of Secrets, received a starred review from Booklist, and was an Amazon Best Book of the Month, Literature and Fiction. She teaches at Fairfield University’s MFA Creative Writing Program.


From the Judges:

“This novel is a reminder that we all share the kinship of our common humanity. While chronicling the evils of war, it reminds the reader that behind such shibboleths as ’aliens’ ‘refugees’ and ‘foreigners’ are humans like you and I.”



Melissa Rivero New American Voices Finalist 2019

Melissa Rivero was born in Lima, Peru and raised in Brooklyn. Her writing has taken her to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the VONA/Voices Workshops, and the Norman Mailer Writers Colony. In 2015, Melissa was an Emerging Writers Fellow at the Center for Fiction. She is a graduate of NYU and Brooklyn Law School, and currently works as in-house legal counsel at a startup. She still lives in Brooklyn with her family. The Affairs of the Falcóns is her first novel.

From the Judges:

“This novel is a fierce reminder of the price that immigrants pay for a shot at the American Dream, and what is gained and what is lost in its pursuit.”


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