“I needed to write about where I come from…”
“I needed to write about where I come from, because I saw how many immigrants feel pressured to shed their pasts.”
--Feminist Press author YZ Chin
Dear Friend of the Feminist Press,
Our Louise Meriwether First Book Prize, awarded each year to a debut woman or nonbinary author of color, was launched in 2016 to springboard aspiring authors from underrepresented communities into the largely-white publishing industry.
Now, for two years in a row, the entries that have most captivated our judges have been both by immigrant writers and about the immigrant experience.
Our inaugural prize went to YZ Chin, a Malaysian-born writer who came to the U.S. on a computer science scholarship. Chin penned her debut novel Though I Get Home (coming out this April) in the early mornings, nights, and weekends—because a full-time job as a software engineer was her only pathway to a green card.
This year, Claudia D. Hernández dazzled us with Knitting the Fog (forthcoming April 2019), an account of migrating from Guatemala to the U.S. with her family at age ten. Merging Spanish, English, poetry, and prose, Hernández conjures the struggle and resilience of a young Latina caught between cultures.
Countering the hateful rhetoric and misinformation that threatens to dominate the national immigration conversation, our first two prizewinners attest to a cultural hunger for nuanced, emotionally authentic immigrant narratives. We invest in emerging immigrant writers like Chin and Hernández as part of our efforts to build a literary culture that reflects the full spectrum of our community—will you join us?
Your donation of $10, $25, $100, or any amount that is meaningful to you supports up-and-coming immigrant writers and brilliant border-crossing books.
With love and gratitude,
Jamia, Suki, Lucia, Alyea, Hannah, Lauren, Jisu, Sophia, and Drew
P.S. Don’t miss YZ Chin’s personal essay about the precarious existence of an immigrant writer, “STEM Over Storytelling,” at The Riveter!