The National Book Foundation's 2017 5 Under 35 Honorees
The National Book Foundation is pleased to present the 2017 5 Under 35 honorees, a selection of debut fiction writers under the age of 35 whose work promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape. Each author was selected by a National Book Award Winner, Finalist, or writer previously recognized by the 5 Under 35 program, and these honorees represent some of the best that the world of literary fiction has to offer. 5 Under 35 honorees are writers from around the world, under the age of 35, who have published their first and only book of fiction—either a short story collection or a novel—within the last five years.
The 2017 5 Under 35 honorees celebrated at an invitation-only ceremony on November 13, 2017. 5 Under 35 is sponsored by the Amazon Literary Partnership. Each Honoree will receive a $1,000 prize.
Highlights from the 2017 5 Under 35 Celebration
We gathered at Housing Works to once again celebrate five remarkable debut fiction writers. This year's honorees were Lesley Nneka Arimah, Halle Butler, Leopoldine Core, Zinzi Clemmons, and Weike Wang. Special thanks to the 2017 selectors, Chris Bachelder, Lydia Millet, Angela Flournoy, Karan Mahajan, and Sherman Alexie. Thanks also to our wonderful emcee, Ben Greenman, the Amazon Literary Partnership for its support, and Housing Works for hosting us.
The 2017 5 Under 35 Honorees Are:
Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories (Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House)
Selector: Chris Bachelder, 2016 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction
Halle Butler, author of Jillian (Curbside Splendor)
Selector: Lydia Millet, 2016 National Book Award Longlist for Fiction
Zinzi Clemmons, author of What We Lose (Viking / Penguin Random House)
Selector: Angela Flournoy, 2015 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction and 5 Under 35 honoree
Leopoldine Core, author of When Watched: Stories (Penguin Books / Penguin Random House) Selector: Karan Mahajan, 2016 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction
Weike Wang, author of Chemistry (Knopf / Penguin Random House)
Selector: Sherman Alexie, 2007 National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature
The 2017 5 Under 35 Selection committee:
Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and performer. He is a winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, a PEN/Hemingway Citation for Best First Fiction, and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. He has published 26 books including his recently released memoir, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, his first picture book, Thunder Boy Jr, and young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, all from Little, Brown Books; What I've Stolen, What I've Earned, a book of poetry, from Hanging Loose Press; and Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories, from Grove Press. He has also published the 20th Anniversary edition of his classic book of stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Smoke Signals, the movie he wrote and co-produced, won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, Alexie grew up in Wellpinit, Washington, on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He has been an urban Indian since 1994 and lives in Seattle with his family.
Chris Bachelder is the author of Bear v. Shark, U.S.!, and Abbott Awaits. His most recent novel, The Throwback Special, was a Finalist for the National Book Award. His fiction and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s, The Believer, and The Paris Review. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Cincinnati, where he teaches at the University of Cincinnati.
Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times notable book of the year. The novel was also a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and an NAACP Image Award. She is a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Honoree for 2015. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New York Times, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Flournoy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California. She has taught at the University of Iowa, The New School and Columbia University.
Karan Mahajan is the author of Family Planning, a finalist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and The Association of Small Bombs, which was shortlisted for the 2016 National Book Award, won the 2017 NYPL Young Lions Award, and was named one of the New York Times Book Review's "Ten Best Books of 2016." He was also selected as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker Online, n+1, and other venues.
Lydia Millet is the author of 11 books of literary fiction, most recently the novel Sweet Lamb of Heaven (2016), longlisted for the National Book Award, among others. Earlier titles include Mermaids in Paradise (2014); Magnificence (2012), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle and Los Angeles Times book awards; a story collection called Love in Infant Monkeys (2010), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and the novel My Happy Life (2002), which won a PEN-USA fiction award. Millet received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2012 and lives in the Arizona desert. Her next book, a collection of stories called Fight No More, will be published in 2018 by W. W. Norton.