Congratulations Elise Thi Tran, winner of the 2022 First Pages Prize with Dredged From the Courtyard Pond, a collection of vignettes drawing from the oral history of a family’s escape from Vietnam and memoir of a daughter born almost twenty years later.
“I do not know how long it took to find her body— how long it took to realize she’d gone missing, how deep the water, how thick the weeds, if she slipped, barefoot, drawn too close by a rippled reflection, or if she wandered in past her depth, too young to even begin to comprehend the limitations of her own mortality. I do not even know her name, only that she was three or maybe four. Only that when my father’s family fled Vietnam, they left my aunt, her grave, behind in that seaside town, in a forgotten field, left to drown again and again, year after year, in the high waters of the monsoon rains.”
Elise Thi Tran is a Vietnamese-Filipina-American writer based in Chicago. Her fiction and non-fiction work has been published in the first Margery de Brus Anthology, the Kenyon Collegian Magazine, and Spry Literary Magazine.
Meet the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th place winners, shortlist, and longlist of the 2022 First Pages Prize.