We've opened submissions for the 2018 Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing at a critical time for immigrants: just as news breaks that DACA will end unless Congress acts to prolong it. The Prize is, primarily, a celebration of the many ways in which immigrants enrich our culture. Some of the most vivid literature of recent years can be attributed to immigrant authors, whose deft voices expertly bridge cultural gaps and tear down linguistic barriers. This year's Prize is also a testament to the countless Americans whose lives are deeply enmeshed in the fabric of our society and who are being subjected to the threat of deportation.
Now in its third year, the Prize for New Immigrant Writing is expanding to include first-generation immigrants from around the world. All who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. Restless will publish an outstanding debut work of fiction and award its author $10,000, as we did with our inaugural winner, Deepak Unnikrishnan's Temporary People.
As Restless publisher Ilan Stavans writes in his introduction to the prize, “immigrants have shown us what resilience and dedication we’re capable of, and have expanded our sense of what it means to be global citizens. In these times of intense xenophobia, it is more important than ever that these boundary-crossing stories reach the broadest possible audience”. This year we could not be more proud to affirm our commitment to immigrant literature. We can’t wait to read and share what the new voices of the world have to say!
More about Past Winners of the Immigrant Writing Prize
The 2017 Immigrant Writing Prize for Nonfiction has been awarded to Grace Talusan for her memoir, The Body Papers, a brave, artful memoir about trauma, illness, and immigration as told through personal and official documentation. The judges praised her writing, stating that “ She tackles with literary subtlety and a deep reservoir of compassion the paradoxes imposed by being the 'perfect immigrant'—but also an 'illegal' one." The book is scheduled to be published in the Fall of 2018. Read More.
The 2016 Immigrant Writing Prize for Fiction went to Deepak Unnikrishnan for his novel Temporary People, a book of linked stories about the migrant workers of the United Arab Emirates that the judges call "a brave, stylistically inventive book that presents a frightening, surreal world that’s all too true to life." The book has garnered over 75 reviews, including from The New Yorker, The Economist, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, and many more.