- Bachelor of Arts, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1980
- Master of Arts, SUNY Binghamton, 1985
Sylvia Watanabe's short story cycle, Talking to the Dead, was a finalist for the 1993 PEN Faulkner Award. She is the recipient of an NEA fellowship, a Josephine Miles Pen Oakland award in fiction and an Ohio Arts Council grant in nonfiction. Watanabe's fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many anthologies, including the O'Henry Prize and Pushcart Prize collections. During the 90's she co-edited two volumes of Asian American fiction, Home to Stay and Into the Fire, with Carol Bruchac, of the Greenfield Review Press. Home to Stay was the first anthology of Asian American women's fiction to be published in the U.S. In 2007-08, she received an Oberlin College award for excellence in teaching. Her current book-length fiction project is about the survivors of the American nuclear testing in the Pacific.
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