The Asian American Writers' Workshop, the New York City-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Asian American literature, is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary later this month with a series of events that will pay homage to Maxine Hong Kingston.
On September 28 the organization will present Kingston, whose most recent book is The Fifth Book of Peace (Knopf, 2003), with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The winners of the ninth annual Asian American Literary Awards, given for the best work of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in 2005, will also be announced at the event.
On September 29 the Asian American Writers' Workshop, the National Book Foundation, and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University will cosponsor "The Woman Warrior @ 30," a daylong series of events commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of Kingston's award-winning memoir, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (Knopf 1976).
“Surviving fifteen years is itself an accomplishment for an Asian American arts nonprofit,” says executive director Quang Bao. “But if I factor in how we have helped writers both emerging and established and hooked them to a culturally literate community of readers, then I would say the workshop has shaped Asian American life and contemporary American literature.”
For more information about the Asian American Writers' Workshop and its anniversary events, visit the organization's Web site.
The finalists for the Asian American Literary Awards in poetry are Ed Bok Lee for Real Karaoke People (New Rivers Press), Arthur Sze for Quipu (Copper Canyon Press), and Shanxing Wang for Mad Science in Imperial City (Futurepoem Books).
The finalists in fiction are Rattawut Lapcharoensap for Sightseeing (Grove Press), Yiyun Li for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (Random House), and Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown (Random House).
The finalists in nonfiction are Jeff Chang for Can't Stop Won't Stop (Picador USA), Amitava Kumar for Husband of a Fanatic: A Personal Journey Through India, Pakistan, Love and Hate (The New Press), and Andrew Lam for Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora (Heyday Books).
The winners in each category will receive a crystal award at a ceremony on December 4 at the Asia Society in New York City.