Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Writes for Readers: Best First Novels

The Center for Fiction in New York City will announce the winner of the 2010 Flaherty-Dunnam First Novel Prize on December 6.  Many past winners (and short listed nominees) have gone on to achieve other top honors, including Juno Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Pulitzer) and Marisha Pessi's Special Topics in Calamity Physics (New York Times 10 Best Books List).  Last year's winner was The Woodsburner by John Pipken, a wonderful historical novel about Henry David Thoreau.  The little-known Tinkers, by Paul Harding, was on last year's short list and went on to win the Pulitzer.  

This year's short list consists of:

• Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste (W.W. Norton)
• The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Alfred A. Knopf)
• Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes (Atlantic Monthly Press with El León Literary Arts)
• Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross (Alfred A. Knopf)
• The Quickening by Michelle Hoover (Other Press)
• The Report by Jessica Francis Kane (Graywolf Press)
• This is Just Exactly Like You by Drew Perry (Viking)

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Board of the Center.

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