As one of the three finalists for the New American Voices Award, given by the Institute for Immigration Research, Elena was interviewed for the following article in Bustle Magazine.
From the website, here’s a little bit about the award:
“The idea for the award, which is sponsored by the Institute for Immigration Research, arose over a year ago, says Kara Oakleaf, the literary festival director. Inspired by the recent push to diversify the publishing world — which has emerged alongside increasingly vitriolic conversations regarding who has the “right” to be in this country and self-identify as American — Oakleaf says the festival’s board wanted to highlight the important cultural role immigrants play and give the prize a powerful name: ‘New American.’
The fact is, these are American writers, whether they came to the U.S. from elsewhere or were born here to parents who immigrated,” Oakleaf tells Bustle. “We wanted the name of the award to reflect that and to acknowledge that writing by immigrants is an important part of what makes up American literature, and should be included in our thinking about American literature.”