Jabari Asim, associate professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing, has much to be proud of — most notably, his recent nomination by the NAACP Image Awards for Best Fictional Work for his book A Taste of Honey, a collection of 16 loosely connected stories concerning the fictional 1960s Midwestern town of Gateway City.
“It was a surprise,” Asim said. “I had received an envelope saying that the nominations had been announced, but I hadn’t opened it!” A Taste of Honey, published last year, is his first work of adult fiction; he has published two nonfiction works and six children’s books in the past.
The Image Awards, now in its forty-second year, is a prestigious multicultural award that celebrates important work in literature, movies, music, and television. The awards ceremony will be held today (March 4) at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and will be hosted by actor Holly Robinson Peete (co-host of The Talk on CBS).
Asim is no stranger to receiving acclaim for his work (The N Word  and What Obama Means [2009). “My experience as a nonfiction writer is that the books really have legs and staying power,” he said. “There’s always going to be a new wave of interest and you have to respond to that.” However, his main aspirations remain in the fictional arena for the moment, as he is finishing his seventh children’s book and working his way through an adult-oriented novel.“I really like writing fiction for adults.”