New American Voices Award Ceremony

Friday, October 15, 7 pm via Crowdcast

About the Event

Novelists Patricia Engel, author of Infinite Country, Daisy Hernández, author of The Kissing Bug, and Anthony Veasna So, author of the Afterparties have been named finalists for the fourth annual Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award. Created to honor the work of immigrant authors, whose work is historically underrepresented in publishing, this book prize recognizes recently published works that illuminate the complexity of the human experience. Engel, Hernández, and So’s editor at Ecco, Helen Atsma, will appear at a virtual award ceremony on Friday, October 15th available on Crowdcast for Fall for the Book. 

This post-publication prose book prize was judged by Irena Reyn, Justin Torres, and Melissa Rivero. 

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Meet the Finalists

Patricia Engel is the author of The Veins of the Ocean, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris, winner of the International Latino Book Award; and Vida, a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway and Young Lions Fiction Awards, New York Times Notable Book, and winner of Colombia’s national book award, the Premio Biblioteca de Narrativa Colombiana. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her stories appear in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. Born to Colombian parents, and herself a dual citizen, Patricia is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of Miami.

Daisy Hernandez

Daisy Hernández is a former reporter for The New York Times and has been writing about the intersections of race, immigration, class, and sexuality for almost two decades. She has written for National Geographic, NPR’s All Things Considered and Code Switch, The Atlantic, Slate, and Guernica, and she’s the former editor of Colorlines, a newsmagazine on race and politics. Hernández is the author most recently of The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease. Her other books include the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and co-editor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. She is an associate professor at Miami University in Ohio.

Anthony Veasna So (1992-2020) was a graduate of Stanford University and earned his MFA in fiction at Syracuse University. His writing appeared or is forthcoming in the New Yorker, The Paris Review n+1, Granta, and ZYZZYVA. Born and raised in Stockton, California, he lived in San Francisco.

So’s editor at Ecco, Helen Atsma, will appear on his behalf. 

Meet the Judges

Irina Reyn

Irina Reyn is the author of three novels, What Happened to Anna K.The Imperial Wife and Mother Country. She’s also the editor of the anthology Living on the Edge of the World: New Jersey Writers Take on the Garden State. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, Tin House, Bennington Review, Town & Country Travel and many other publications and anthologies. She teaches fiction writing in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Justin Torres

Justin Torres has published short fiction in The New YorkerHarper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, and other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Justin’s novel We the Animals has been translated into fifteen languages and was recently adapted into a film. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards. 

Melissa Rivero

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, which won the 2019 New American Voices Award, is her first novel.

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