Fall for the Book & IIR Announce Finalists for the Third Annual New American Voices Award

Fall for the Book & IIR Announce Finalists for the Third Annual New American Voices Award

The Third Annual Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award will be presented virtually on October 6th, 2020. The New American Voices Award was created to celebrate the expression of complex human experiences as told by immigrant authors in recently published books. Immigrant work has been historically underrepresented in writing and publishing. 

This year's finalists are novelists Ishmael Beah, author of Little Family; Vanessa Hua, author of Deceit and Other Possibilities; and Lysley Tenorio, author of The Son of Good Fortune. The winning writer will receive $5,000 and the two finalists each will receive $1,000. 

Ishmael Beah's, Little Family "is the compelling, intimate story of a group of children who form a bond under dire, dangerous conditions. Beah documents their emotional and physical struggles to survive in language that is gorgeous and lyrical," says Judge Susan Muraddi Durraj. Beah is also a UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War and a member of the Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Advisory Committee. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their children.

Vanessa Hua, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, is author of Deceit and Other Possibilities and A River of Stars. "Vanessa Hua delivers one of those once-in-a-lifetime debuts that feels both remarkably established and yet thrillingly new. A whole spectrum of East Asian experience, from immigrants to natives, idols to pastors, Stanford to Chinatown, is presented with a deeply generous mind and heart," says Judge Porochista Khakpour. Vanessa lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and twins. 

Lysley Tenorio is the author of the novel The Son of Good Fortune and the story collection Monstress, named a book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle. Judge Chika Unigwe says, "The Son of Good Fortune is compulsively readable. With its cast of unforgettable characters and delightful prose, Tenorio has delivered a near-perfect novel." Lysley is a professor at Saint Mary’s College of California.

This year's judges are writers Porochista Khakpour, Susan Muaddi Darraj, and Chika Unigwe.

Fall for the Book is an independent non-profit literary arts organization held at George Mason University that promotes reading by sponsoring a variety of year-round events and activities.