Fil-Am writer Randy Ribay wins Spalding Prize for young adult novel
Filipino American writer Randy Ribay won the 2022 Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature for his young adult novel Patron Saints of Nothing (Penguin Random House, 2019), Spalding University’s graduate school of writing in Louisville Kentucky announced.
The Spalding Prize was established by the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing for a work of literature that exemplifies Spalding University “community’s core commitment to compassion.” The prize includes a cash award of $7,500 and a residency invitation as distinguished visiting writer.
“Patron Saints of Nothing is one of the most satisfyingly complex narratives I’ve had the pleasure to read lately,” Kathleen Driskell, Chair of Spalding’s Graduate School of Writing, writes in GoodRiverReview.com.
“Part mystery, part thriller, and part identity novel, Ribay’s lyrical story is set in present-day Philippines and interrogates the justice of Duterte’s war on drugs. I’m excited to share this read with students, faculty, and alumni of our Naslund-Mann community and look forward to discussing this novel with everyone at residency,” Driskell added.
In 2019, Patron Saints of Nothing was a finalist for the National Book Award. It was also named an NPR Best Book of the Year, an NBC News Best Asian American Young Adult Book of the Year, a New York Public Library Top 10 Best Book of the Year, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. It also won the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) Freeman Book Award, according to GoodRiverReview.
The Philippine-born Ribay grew up in the Midwest and also wrote After the Shot Drops and An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder as an English Literature major and earned and his master’s in Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He teaches English and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.