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Celebrating the Winners of the Saroyan Prize for Writing

March 30, 2021 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: Virtual

Join us as we celebrate the 2020 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing!

Featuring readings by the two winners:
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah for Friday Black and Jennifer Croft for Homesick: A Memoir

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it’s like to be young and black in America. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country. His stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

Homesick: A Memoir by Jennifer Croft
The coming of age story of an award-winning translator, Homesick is about learning to love language in its many forms, healing through words and the promises and perils of empathy and sisterhood. Sisters Amy and Zoe grow up in Oklahoma where they are homeschooled for an unexpected reason: Zoe suffers from debilitating and mysterious seizures, spending her childhood in hospitals as she undergoes surgeries. Meanwhile, Amy flourishes intellectually, showing an innate ability to glean a world beyond the troubles in her home life, exploring that world through languages first. Amy’s first love appears in the form of her Russian tutor Sasha, but when she enters university at the age of 15 her life changes drastically and with tragic results.


The Stanford Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation jointly award the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, a biennial competition for newly-published books. The prize commemorates the life, legacy and intentions of William Saroyan – author, artist, dramatist, composer – and is intended to encourage new or emerging writers, rather than to recognize established literary figures.


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Stanford University Libraries
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March 30, 2021, 3:00 pm