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Author seeking US residency up for Pacific lit prize

Short story writer Yiyun Li seeking permission for U.S. residency has been short-listed for Kiriyama Prize.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 18:00 IST

Yiyun Li, an acclaimed short story writer fighting for permission to remain in the United States, is among the finalists for the Kiriyama Prize, given annually for books about the Pacific Rim and South Asia.

Other fiction nominees announced Tuesday are Karen Connelly's The Lizard Cage, Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide, Luis Alberto Urrea's The Hummingbird's Daughter and Jess Row's The Train to Lo Wu.

In non-fiction, finalists include Gail Lee Bernstein's Isami's House, U Sam Oeur's Crossing Three Wildernesses, Oyama Shiro's A Man With No Talents, John Vaillant's The Golden Spruce and Piers Vitebsky's The Reindeer People.

Winners, to be announced March 28, each receive $15,000 (€12,632). The prize is sponsored by Pacific Rim Voices, a non-profit organization which seeks to "encourage and promote greater understanding of and among the peoples and nations of the Pacific Rim and South Asia."

Li, a native of China who lives in Oakland, California, teaches creative writing at Mills College. She was cited for her story collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. Despite strong praise for her work, she was turned down last year for permanent residency by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and rejected again upon appeal.

The 33-year-old author, who plans another effort to get her green card, had applied based on "exceptional ability" in the arts. Her previous literary honors include the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and a Pushcart prize,

"I am going to try under a new category," Li told The Associated Press Tuesday in an interview from Oakland. "I am going to try based on my work as a teacher."

First Published: Mar 01, 2006 16:37 IST