The National Book Foundation’s
“5 Under 35” Fiction Selections for 2009

Five young fiction writers were recognized by the National Book Foundation at the “5 Under 35” celebration at PowerHouse Arena in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn on Monday, November 16, announced Harold Augenbraum, the executive director of the National Book Foundation.

“5 Under 35 is a celebration of emerging talent and the perfect way to kick off National Book Awards Week,” says Augenbraum.

This year’s emcee was musician, novelist, and publisher
Richard Hell, founder of the seminal punk band Richard Hell & the Voidoids.

The 2009 5 Under 35 Honorees Are:

Ceridwen Dovey, Blood Kin (Viking, 2008)
Selected by Rachel Kushner, 2008 Fiction Finalist for Telex from Cuba

C. E. Morgan, All the Living (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009)
Selected by Christine Schutt, 2004 Fiction Finalist for Florida

Lydia Peelle, Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing
(HarperCollins, 2009)
Selected by Salvatore Scibona, 2008 Fiction Finalist for The End

Karen Russell, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
(Vintage, 2006)
Selected by Dan Chaon, 2001 Fiction Finalist for Among the Missing

Josh Weil, The New Valley (Grove Press, 2009)
Selected by Lily Tuck, 2004 Fiction Winner for The News from Paraguay

The evening’s DJ will be novelist, essayist, and MacArthur fellow Jonathan Lethem.

Now in its fourth year, "5 Under 35” has become the highly-anticipated kick-off event for National Book Awards week. In a nod to Brooklyn’s status as the literary epicenter of New York City, the Foundation has moved the event to the Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO. That evening, each author will be introduced by the writer who selected them. This year’s emcee is musician, novelist, and publisher Richard Hell, founder of the seminal punk band Richard Hell & the Voidoids. The evening’s DJ will be novelist, essayist, and MacArthur fellow Jonathan Lethem.

Food provided by Soler-Bermudez of the Red Hook Food Vendors, a 2008 Vendy Award Finalist, and regular at the Red Hook Ball Fields every summer.

Wines generously donated by Joseph and Diane Steinberg; and beer generously donated by Union Beer.

More about the featured authors:

Ceridwen Dovey

Ceridwen Dovey grew up in South Africa and Australia. She is an anthropologist and author of the novel Blood Kin, which won South Africa's most prestigious literary award, the Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Her novel was also short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Australia-Asia Literary Award, and long-listed for the Prix Femina Etranger.
Photo by Jerry Bauer.

C. E. Morgan

C. E. Morgan was born in Cincinnati and now lives in Berea, Kentucky. She studied English and voice at Berea College and received a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Harvard Divinity School. Her short story "Over by Christmas" was published on the op-ed page of The New York Times this past Christmas. All the Living is her first novel. She's currently working on a novel about horse racing and race relations.
Photo by Katrina Fiebig.

Lydia Peelle

Lydia Peelle is the author of the story collection Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing. In addition to having two of her stories featured in the Best New American Voices series, she has also won two Pushcart Prizes and an O. Henry Prize. Peelle was born in Boston and currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by Brook Guthrie.

Karen Russell

Karen Russell’s collection of stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, was named a Best Book of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times. In 2007, Russell was included in Granta’s series: the Best of Young American Novelists. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Conjunctions, Zoetrope, and The Best American Short Stories (2007 and 2008). Russell, a native of Miami, now lives in New York City and is working on a novel, Swamplandia!, about a family of alligator wrestlers in the Florida swamp.
Photo by Joanne Chan.

Josh Weil

Josh Weil is the author of the novella collection The New Valley (Grove Press, 2009), a New York Times Editors' Choice selection. His fiction has been published in Granta, New England Review, American Short Fiction, and Narrative. He has written nonfiction for The New York Times, Granta Online, and Poets & Writers. Since earning his MFA from Columbia University, he has received a Fulbright grant, a Writer’s Center Emerging Writer Fellowship, and the Dana Award in Portfolio. He has been a fellow at both the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. As the 2009 Tickner Fellow, he is the writer-in-residence at Gilman School in Baltimore, where he is at work on a novel.
Photo by Ben Weil.

National Book Award Authors

Dan Chaon

Dan Chaon's most recent novel, Await Your Reply, is out this fall from Ballantine Books. Chaon is also the author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. His fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction and was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.
Photo by Philip Chaon.

Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner’s first novel, Telex from Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, received the gold medal from the Commonwealth Club of California, and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her fiction and essays have been published in the New York Times, The Believer, Fence, Bomb, Grand Street, Cabinet, and elsewhere. She contributes regularly to Artforum and is a co-editor of the art, literature, and philosophy journal, Soft Targets.
Photo by Jason Smith.

Salvatore Scibona

Salvatore Scibona’s first novel, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award, a winner of the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library, and winner of the Norman Mailer Cape Cod Award for Exceptional Writing. Riverhead will publish a paperback edition of The End in fall 2009, and it will be published in German and French in 2010. Scibona administers the writing fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Photo by Carlos Ferguson.

Christine Schutt

Christine Schutt is the author of two short story collections and Florida, a novel and 2004 National Book Award finalist. Her second novel, All Souls, was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. Among other honors, Schutt has twice won the O. Henry Short Story Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and an NYFA fellowship. Schutt is a senior editor of the literary annual NOON. She lives and teaches in New York.
Photo by Nina Subin.

Lily Tuck

Lily Tuck is the author of The News from Paraguay, winner of the 2004 National Book Award. Her most recent work is a biography, Woman of Rome: A Life of Elsa Morante.
Photo by Marion Ettlinger.

Host:Richard Hell

Host:Richard Hell is the author of the novels Go Now and Godlike. His book of collaborations with the artist Christopher Wool, Psychopts, was published in 2008, and his CD, Destiny Street Repaired, by Richard Hell and the Voidoids, was released in 2009. He is at work on an autobiography.
Photo by Phil Knott.


DJ: Jonathan Lethem

DJ: Jonathan Lethem is the author of seven novels. A recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, Lethem has also published his stories and essays in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and the New York Times, among others. His most recent novel is Chronic City.