Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

This year's winner of the “Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature for Adult Fiction” is Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being.

The novel involves a mysterious diary belonging to Nao Yasutani, a sixteen year old girl living in Tokyo. Nao is bullied by classmates and plans to escape her sense of loneliness by taking her own life. Before she does she makes a commitment to write about her 104 year old Grandmother’s life as a Buddhist nun.  

Nao’s world collides with that of Ruth, a novelist from British Columbia, who finds Nao's diary in a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore. As Ruth reads Nao’s words, she becomes determined to solve the mystery of Nao’s life, believing she may have been a victim of the 2011 tsunami in Japan. 

Ozeki is the author of two other award winning novels: My year of Meats (1998) A New York Times Notable Book, and All over Creation (2002) Winner of the 2004 American Book Awards.

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, was created by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) to honor individual works by writers who have made a commitment to promote works about Asian/Pacific Americans and their rich heritage.Works written in English are nominated based on their content as it relates to Asian/Pacific American experiences.

These awards are based on artistic merit.

Here is a list of other 2013-2014 APALA winners:

1. Picture Book Winner: Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang

2. Children’s Literature Winner: The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata.

3. Young Adult Literature: Jet Black and the Ninja Wind* by Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani.

4. Adult Non-Fiction Winner: Citizens of Asian America: Democracy and Race During the Cold War by Cindy I-Fen Cheng.

*Denver Public Library does not carry these titles. They can be obtained through Prospector or Interlibrary Loan.

Written by J.Allen on February 7, 2014


Midge on February 8, 2014


I really love Ozeki's work. Just wish she wrote faster!

J.Allen on February 10, 2014


Midge, thank you for your comment, she has received awards for all of her works, that says a lot about her.

Joel Bass on February 25, 2014


I loved this book. Two very different lives intertwining across time and space. Lovely and strange.

J.Allen on February 25, 2014


Absolutely, I like it when an Author can navigate a :"story within a story" it keeps you engaged.

Anonymous on March 3, 2014


I didn't know anything about this award. Thank you!

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