Julie Shigekuni

Julie Shigekuni has won several awards for her writing, including the PEN Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature and a Henfield award. Shigekuni’s first novel, A Bridge Between Us, was published by Doubleday/Anchor in 1995 & 1996 and received favorable reviews in the New York Times Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, and other major publications, and was translated into German, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian.  It was featured by Barnes & Noble Booksellers in their first Discover Great New Writers series and was selected as a finalist for that award.

Shigekuni’s Invisible Gardens, published by St. Martin’s Press in 2003, along with A Bridge Between Us, has been included on required college reading lists nationally. In 2004, Shigekuni was cited on a library reading list of Notable Asian American Authors.

Shigekuni was born and raised in Los Angeles. After fleeing high school in her junior year to attend the University of California at Santa Cruz, she lived abroad in Tokyo and London and settled in New York to attend Hunter College and Sarah Lawrence College. She currently teaches creative writing and literature at the University of New Mexico where she is developing an Asian American Studies program to be implemented in the Fall of 2008. Her newest work of fiction is a collection of eight stories entitled Beep on Me.

In addition to her literary endeavors, Shigekuni is currently co-producing, directing, and writing a 60-minute video documentary, Manju Mammas & the An-Pan Brigade, funded by the California Council for the Humanities Documentaries Projects Grant and by the Skirball/Getty Foundation.

Shigekuni’s third novel, Unending Nora, will be published in Fall 2008 by Red Hen Press. Unending Nora exposes the after effects of wartime internment on contemporary American life. In an ambitious examination of faith, shame, and desire, Unending Nora departs from Shigekuni’s first two novels by stretching the concept of individual and family to include a community eager to mark its place in the larger world.

Shigekuni lives with her husband, Jonathan Wilks, and their three young daughters in Corrales, New Mexico.

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