Susan Muaddi Darraj, 2014 AWP Short Fiction Prize–Winner, Receives American Book Award

September 7, 2016

Susan Muaddi DarrajSusan Muaddi Darraj’s AWP Award Series–winning short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, has picked up a 2016 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

In collaboration with AWP, the University of Massachusetts Press published the collection of stories about Palestinian characters living in a West Bank village, Tel al-Hilou, in October 2015.

“These linked stories about the people of the village of Tel al-Hilou, and their descendants in today’s United States of America, span over a century,” said Jamie Manrique, who was the judge for the 2014 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. “The author’s empathy for the large cast of embattled characters is miraculous. In particular, we get to know the quietly heroic Palestinian women in these stories as intimately as we know the people closest to us. Astonishingly, this collection is, above all, about the transformative powers of love.”

Cover of A Curious Land bookDarraj will formally accept one of the fourteen American Book Award prizes at the October 30 ceremony in San Francisco. She’ll also receive the Arab American Book Award a few days earlier, on October 25, at the Lebanese American University—New York Academic Center.

The American Book Awards were created “to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community,” its recent press release reads. Other awardees include Laura Da’, Deepa Iyer, Mat Johnson, John Keene, William J. Maxwell, Lauret Savoy, Ned Sublette and Constance Sublette, Jesús Salvador Treviño, Nick Turse, Ray Young Bear, Louise Meriwether, Lyra Monteiro, Nancy Isenberg, and Chiitaanibah Johnson.


Photo Credit: Susan Muaddi Darraj
Cover Image: University of Massachusetts Press

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