Despite the months that have passed since the award announcement, I am still sometimes stunned by it: no exaggeration. Just few days ago Sean said, “I still can’t believe you won this thing,” and I said, “I still can’t believe I was nominated!” And I am not being humble here. They were an intimidatingly impressive bunch, the other four finalists: Yelena Akhtiorskaya was one of Five Under Thirty Five by the National Book Foundation (nominated by Aleksandar Hemon, no less!), Boris Fishman was on the editorial staff of The New Yorker, and received rave reviews from The New York Times (and just won this award), Molly Antopol recently won the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award and was nominated for a bunch of other awards, and Kenneth Bonert won the 2013 National Jewish Book Award for Outstanding Debut Fiction. They are amazing! (And also awesome, kind people I enjoyed spending time with.)
You can watch the video of my acceptance speech (also below), in which I speak about the impact this award has already made on my life and my career, and express my immense gratitude and joy. And maybe that says it all. Maybe I don’t need to add anything more.