2008 New Voices Award Winners
New York, NY—January 16, 2009—LEE & LOW BOOKS is proud to announce that Hayan Charara of Houston, Texas, is the winner of the New Voices Award Honor for 2008. His poignant story, The Three Lucys, explores the realities of war from the perspective of Luli, a young Lebanese boy whose most beloved possessions are his three cats, all named Lucy. Returning home with his parents after a visit with his aunt and uncle, Luli discovers that conflicts between people can change some things forever. But in the end, Luli also learns to hope for a future in which change is possible as differences are put aside. Mr. Charara's writing is honest and lyrical and captures a strong sense of place. The Three Lucys is based on the experiences of the author's younger brother during the month-long war in Lebanon in the summer of 2006.
A first-generation Arab American born in Michigan, Mr. Charara is a poet, editor, and teacher. While this is his first foray into writing for children, Mr. Charara's work for adults has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. He is the author of two collections of poetry: The Alchemist's Diary and The Sadness of Others, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 2006. Mr. Charara is also the editor of Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry and the recipient of a recent grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at colleges and universities for more than ten years, and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in literature and creative writing. Mr. Charara will receive a prize of $500 for his winning story.