The Isabelle de Courtivron Writing Prize recognizes high-quality undergraduate writing (creative or expository) on topics related to immigrant, diaspora, bicultural, bilingual, and/or mixed-race experiences.
Eileen A. Liu, ’24, Course 18, from Vestavia Hills, AL, for “命名 (The Name of Life).” Liu’s open-hearted story explores the power and place of a person’s given name within one’s family genealogy. The first in her family to be born in the U.S, Aime/Emma struggles to identify her authentic self as a member of a loving extended family and of two compelling cultures across generations. She comes to embrace the synthesis that defines her, that is symbolized by her name(s), and that allows her to root for both “Team America and Team China.”
Laura Rosado, ’22, Course 2A/21W, from New Haven, CT, for “I am two and one and nothing all at once.” In this uplifting memoir, Rosado, the monolingual American daughter of a Chinese mother and Puerto-Rican father, provides a compelling account of the people, languages, and locations that shaped her childhood. We come to appreciate the challenges of “trying to see double. . . . trying to plant roots in two worlds at once.” Rosado uses a vivid extended metaphor of learning to swim to convey how she is slowly coming to appreciate the complicated delights of, and to understand her place within, the broad, deep waters of her cultural inheritance. We are confident that she will “kick [her] legs and swim forward.”
Leyna Duong, Class of ’22, Course 5-7, from North Hollywood, CA, for “Journey Back to the West.”
Rona Wang, ’22, Course 18, from Portland, OR, for “My grandmother sends me memes through WeChat.”