Title from small Mpls. publisher nominated for Book Award

Staff at Minneapolis-based Coffee House Press are celebrating, after one of its titles was nominated Wednesday for a National Book Award for Fiction.

The book, "I Hotel," by Karen Tei Yamashita tells the story of the Asian-American community in northern California in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Coffee House founder and publisher Allan Kornblum, who signed Yamashita about 20 years ago, says the nomination is a huge honor.

"This is really a thrill to have this form of recognition for a writer who we've stuck with and who has stuck with us, to watch her talent to continue to grow and see this form of recognition for, really, her magnum opus," Kornblum said.

Yamashita's books are among Coffee House Press's best sellers.

Book Award judges passed over Jonathan Franzen's novel, "Freedom," which has drawn international acclaim since its recent publication. "I Hotel" goes up against novels by such luminaries as Peter Carey and Nicole Krause. The winner will be announced in New York on Nov. 17.

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