Gene Luen Yang was named the winner of the 2023 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature last month by World Literature Today magazine. He is the first graphic novelist to win the prestigious prize.
Trung Le Nguyen, an award-winning comics writer and artist, nominated Yang and chose “American Born Chinese” as the representative text for the jury to read.
“American Born Chinese” deftly handles issues of immigration [and] internalized racism as if believing in the capacity for very young readers to synthesize disparate and complicated modes of written communication,” Nguyen wrote in his nominating statement.
A blue-ribbon jury selects the finalists and the winner based solely on literary merit, as well as the importance of the writer’s contribution to children’s and young adult literature. NSK winners are awarded $35,000, a silver medallion, and a certificate of recognition.