Congratulations to Sasha Pimentel Chacón, author of Insides She Swallowed(West End Press), and Karen Tei Yamashita, author of I Hotel (Coffee House Books), whose books have both been awarded the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. The American Book Awards, established in 1978 by the Before Columbus Foundation, recognize outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term “multicultural” to be not a description of various categories, groups, or “special interests,” but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers’ award given by other writers.
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