In our barrio, any kid worth her café con leche knew what the rumble of a motorcycle meant. Another family was about to disappear.
Until that night, I ran fast and free over Juanelo’s crumbling streets, hunting crinkly brown lizards in the dusty yards, gossiping with the omnipresent abuelas. The old women took care of us while our parents worked at places like the school on the corner or the canning factory down by the river. Four generations of my family lived all around me. No one shut her windows or doors. Everybody knew everything about everyone.
On the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing:
Migration is an increasingly common feature of modern life. Whether for personal or for political or environmental reasons, when people cross the many thresholds of our world—traversing landscapes, languages, traditions, and border lines—they do so often at great personal risk. Those who make this transformative passage reckon with the isolation of displacement as well as with the meaning and value of “belonging” on unfamiliar soil. Their stories are the connective tissue of a global society, speaking directly to our present and our future.
Since its inauguration in 2015, theRestless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing supports the voices of writers whose work brings fresh urgency to crossing cultural and linguistic divides, questions the sense of self in an increasingly interdependent world, and lends a voice to what it means to leave one home for another and why these stories need to be told. The winner will receive $10,000 and publication with Restless Books. This year’s judges, Grace Talusan, Jiaming Tang, and Ilan Stavans, have selected the following four finalists.
Read Excerpts by the Finalists for the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing 2023