The National Book Foundation’s
“5 Under 35” Fiction Selections for 2007

Five young fiction writers will be recognized by the National Book Foundation at the “5 Under 35” celebration in downtown Manhattan on Monday, November 12, announced Harold Augenbraum, executive director of The National Book Foundation. These five writers have each been selected by a previous National Book Award Finalist or Winner as someone whose work is particularly promising and exciting and is among the best of a new generation of writers.


The 2007 5 Under 35 are:

Kirstin Allio
(Coffee House Press, 2005)
Selected by Dana Spiotta, 2006 NBA Fiction Finalist for Eat the Document

Dinaw Mengestu
The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears

(Riverhead Books, 2007)
Selected by Jess Walter, 2006 NBA Fiction Finalist for The Zero

Asali Solomon
Get Down: Stories
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006)
Selected by Jennifer Egan, 2001 NBA Fiction Finalist for Look at Me

Anya Ulinich
Petropolis (Viking Press, 2007)
Selected by Ken Kalfus, 2006 NBA Fiction Finalist for A Disorder Peculiar to the Country

Charles Yu
Third Class Superhero (Harcourt, 2006)
Selected by Richard Powers, 2006 NBA Fiction Winner for The Echo Maker

At the event, which will take place at Tribeca Cinemas, each writer will be introduced by the writer who selected them and will read an excerpt from their most recent book to an audience of their peers: writers, editors, publishers, journalists and bloggers. The host for the evening is novelist Sam Lipsyte.

“This evening is all about bringing attention to the next generation of writers, the National Book Award nominees of our future, and is an exciting way to kick-off our awards week,” says Augenbraum.

More about the featured authors and the
National Book Award authors who selected them:

Kirstin Allio

Kirstin Allio has taught creative writing at Brown University and holds degrees from Brown and New York Universities. Born in Maine in 1974, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and sons. Garner, a finalist for a LA Times Book Award, is her first novel.
Photo © Michael K. Allio.

Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw MengestuDinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978. In 1980, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and sister, joining his father, who had fled the communist revolution in Ethiopia two years before. A graduate of Georgetown University and of Columbia University’s MFA program in fiction, as well as the recipient of a 2006 fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Mengestu has written for Rolling Stone and Harper's, among other publications. The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, his first novel, has been nominated for the Guardian First Book Award in the U.K. and the Prix Femina Etranger in France, and was called "a great African novel, a great Washington novel, and a great American novel" by the New York Times. He lives in New York City.
Photo © Blair Fethers.

Asali Solomon

Asali Solomon was born and raised in West Philadelphia. Her first book, a collection of stories entitled Get Down, is set mostly in Philadelphia. Solomon’s work has been featured in Vibe, Essence, and the anthology Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts. She received the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for the stories in Get Down. She has a PhD in English from University of California, Berkeley and an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop in fiction. Solomon is currently a visiting assistant professor of English at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Photo © Patrick Hinely.

Anya Ulinich

Anya Ulinich immigrated from Russia to Phoenix with her family when she was 17, she practiced graphic design during the height of the dot-com craze and received her MFA in painting from UC Davis. In 2000 she moved to Brooklyn where she now lives with her husband and two young daughters. Tumblr:
Photo © Lisa Sciascia.

Charles Yu

Charles Yu graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia Law School. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he practices law full-time and writes between the hours of midnight and 3. His fiction has been published in a number of magazines and literary journals, including Oxford Magazine, The Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Mississippi Review and Alaska Quarterly Review, cited for special mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology XXVIII, and reprinted in the Robert Olen Butler Prize Stories 2004.
Photo © Michelle Jue.

Host: Sam Lipsyte

Sam Lipsyte’s most recent novel, Home Land, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2005 and winner of the Believer Book Award. He is also the author of The Subject Steve and Venus Drive. His work has appeared in The Quarterly, Noon, Open City, N+1, Slate, McSweeney’s, Esquire, Bookforum, and Playboy, among other places. He teaches at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Photo © David Beaty.