2010 hyphen/aaww short story contest winner

After sifting and reading through over 200 entries, Hyphen and the Asian American Writers' Workshop have selected the 2010 Asian American Short Story Contest winner: Sunil Yapa, for his work "Pilgrims (What is Lost and You Cannot Regain"), a poignant story of anguish and reconciliation. From the press release:
Yapa is a recent graduate from the MFA program at Hunter College in New York City. His work has appeared in Pindeldyboz: Stories that Defy Classification and The Multicultural Review, and he has received scholarships to the New York State Summer Writers Institute, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and The Norman Mailer Writers Colony in Provincetown, MA. The son of a Sri Lankan father and a mother from Montana, Yapa grew up in central Pennsylvania and has since traveled and lived in 48 states and 35 countries.

Yapa's story details the unexpected Thanksgiving Day encounter between Asoka, a recent immigrant from Sri Lanka, and a local man with painful ties to her new rural home. "Pilgrims" will be published in the fall issue of Hyphen, on newsstands this September, and Yapa will be awarded $1000.

The Asian American Short Story Contest—now in its third year—is held in partnership between Hyphen, a national Asian American arts and culture magazine, and The Asian American Writers' Workshop, the nation's premiere nonprofit dedicated to great writing by Asian Americans. Open to all writers of Asian descent living in the United States and Canada, the contest continues to be the only one of its kind and aims to highlight the diverse voices and literary strength coming out of the Asian American community.

Judges Alexander Chee, Whiting-award winning author of Edinburgh, and Jaed Coffin, A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants, chose Yapa's story.

"[The story] forces not only the Asian minority to reconcile his or her orientation to Anglo-dominant America, but also shows how dominant America has to reconcile its relationship to the Asian minority," Coffin said. "In its final gorgeous pages, 'Pilgrims' opened a space for the discussion of what it means to be ethnic and American."
The contest also named nine finalists: Viet Dinh for "Lucky Dragon," Soma Mei Sheng Frazier for "Antique," Marjan Kamali for "Tehran Party," Stellar Kim for "Dissolution," Tsering Lama for "The Greatest Tibetan Ever Born," Jenie Pak for "Something Out There," JK Shushtari for "The Sweet Dry Fruit of the Lotus Tree," Shilpi Suneja for "The Simpleton" and Shruti Swamy for "Blindness."

Congratulations to Sunil Yapa and all the finalists! for more information about the contest, go to the Hyphen website: Announcing the 2010 Asian American Short Story Contest Results!.

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