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American Born Chinese, First Graphic Novel to Be Nominated for National Book Award

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American Born Chinese, First Graphic Novel to Be Nominated for National Book Award

Postby LOLtron » Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:21 pm

From the press release:New York, NY (October 12, 2006) – In a coup for the graphic novel medium, Berkeley-based Gene Luen Yang, a Chinese-American comic artist, was one of 20 finalists announced yesterday. The National Book Award is one of the most prestigious awards in literature and American Born Chinese is the first graphic [...]
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New York, NY (October 12, 2006) – In a coup for the graphic novel medium, Berkeley-based Gene Luen Yang, a Chinese-American comic artist, was one of 20 finalists announced yesterday. The National Book Award is one of the most prestigious awards in literature and American Born Chinese is the first graphic novel to be nominated in any category in its fifty-seven year history.

Graphic novel creators and industry insiders are buzzing with accolades and kudos for Yang’s honor. Heidi MacDonald, Blogmaster for The Beat: The News Blog of Comics Culture, discuses the nomination’s significance, “a win for Yang would be almost as earth-shaking as Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer for Maus.” Calvin Reid, Comics Editor for Publishers Weekly and PW Comics Daily , writes “…getting nominated is a huge accomplishment and boost for the graphic literature category.” American Born Chinese has also been nominated as an American Library Association nomination for Best Books for Young Adults and received glowing praise from mainstream and educational publications, including a starred review in School Library Journal.

Drawing on elements from Yang’s own childhood growing up in a small town next to San Jose, American Born Chinese features three story lines: one tells of Jin Wang, a new kid in the neighborhood, discovering that he is the only Chinese-American student at his school; the second is based on the ancient fable of the Monkey King; the third is about Chin-Kee, the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype. These three apparently unrelated storylines tackle themes of transformation, identity, prejudice and acceptance –before coming together in an unexpected and dramatic twist. American Born Chinese is funny, poignant, action-packed – and confronts racism in today’s high schools head on and without apology.

In addition to being a first for the National Book Awards, the nomination is a first for the book’s publisher, First Second, which is in its first year of operation. Editorial Director Mark Siegel states, “Gene is an outstanding example of the new generation of comics creators: a true author, a terrific artist, and an all around major talent. This prestigious nomination will bring his work into the hands of many more readers, deservedly. We’re all very proud of him.”

Posted originally: 2006-10-13 18:21:50
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