Best Local Author

Staff Pick

WINNER: Naomi Shihab Nye

> Cherished local author Naomi Shihab Nye writes striking, image-rich and empowering poetry, lively novels and short stories that hum with cultural vibrancy and are easy to digest, and children's stories and songs that hearken back to the potent, archetypal simplicity of classic myths and fables. And sometimes, perhaps when she's at her best, she deftly blurs the line between all of these. In her latest book Famous, a beautifully illustrated version of one of her most poignant and universal poems, Nye offers children a chance to play with notions of fame, self-love and the confidence that love bestows. "I want to be famous to shuffling men/ who smile while crossing streets/ sticky children in grocery lines/ famous as the one who smiled back," the poem's speaker ruminates, calling readers of all ages to regard fame with ambivalence and focus on the everyday difference that each person can make. Nye's upbringing is as eclectic as her work and boasts a multicultural aspect that, no doubt, contributes to the depth and breadth of her imagination and activism. Nye wasn't born in San Antonio, but landed here somewhat by chance when she was 17. After a childhood spent in Missouri, Nye moved to Jerusalem with her American mother and Palestinian-immigrant father. Then, after too much turmoil in the Holy Land, the family relocated here and the young Nye fell in love with the place. We think it's safe to say that we have fallen in love with her, too.

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