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AMERICAN BORN CHINESE lost out at the National Book Awards to M.T. Anderson’s The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party, but Anderson gave a shout out in his acceptance speech:

In his acceptance speech, Anderson made a point of noting that Gene Luen Yang’s “American Born Chinese” was the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award. “There is a lot of dithering in the blogosphere,” he said, about whether graphic novels are worthy. This can now be laid to rest.

We also have a photo from the gala evening, courtesy of Calvin Reid: (l. to r.) Mark Siegel, agent Judy Hanson, Lark Pien, Theresa Yang and Gene Yang. (Click for larger version.)