Susannah Rodríguez Drissi, a faculty member in the UCLA Writing Programs, has been awarded the Nautilus Book Award for her debut novel “Until We’re Fish.” The coming-of-age story blends the romance, violence, mood and ethos of the Cuban Revolution with a young man’s hopeless and heroic first love.

“Until We’re Fish” has also been nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Open Book Award and the PEN/Hemingway Book Award for debut novels.

Rodríguez Drissi is an award-winning poet, writer, playwright, translator, director, producer and scholar. Born in Cuba in the 1970s, but growing up in the United States, she writes about Cuba through a double lens — from the vantage point of the native and from a temporal and geographical distance. As a scholar, Rodríguez Drissi’s research focuses on Latin American literatures and cultures, with a special focus on Caribbean literatures and cultures, particularly Cuba. This research focuses on the links between Latin America, the Caribbean and the Arab world, especially focusing on Cuba and North Africa.

An international book prize, the Nautilus Awards celebrate and honor books that support positive social change, social justice, conscious living and spiritual growth. Other Nautilus Award winners include Barbara Kingsolver, Barbara Brown Taylor, Anne Lamott, Louise Erdrich, Desmond Tutu and Thich Nhat Hanh, Eckhart Tolle, the Dalai Lama and Malala Yousafzai.