Judges for the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award have released the list of this year’s semi-finalists, which includes books by six outstanding women writers.
The dozen titles were evenly divided by gender, and the competition is stiff. One glance at the nominees makes clear that there are a lot of great new writers out there (“new” being relative, of course, since there are no overnight successes in writing).
The Award is “a tribute to writers who have navigated their way through the maze of imagination—who have invented their own compasses and created characters, plots, and voices to enliven the common hours,” according to the CFNA website.
The nominees, in alphabetical order, are:
Alix Christie, Gutenberg’s Apprenctice
Rene Denfeld, The Enchanted
Boris Fishman, A Replacement Life
Roxane Gay, An Untamed State
Smith Henderson, Fourth of July Creek
Bret Anthony Johnston, Remember Me Like This
Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You
Rebecca Rostert, Last Night at the Blue Angel
Jess Row, Your Face in Mine
James Scott, The Kept
Josh Weil, The Great Glass Sea
Morowa Yejide, Time of the Locust
The winner will be announced next month, followed by an awards ceremony at VCU in November.
Recent winners of the Cabell First Novelist Award include Helene Wecker (The Golem and the Jinni, 2014), Ramona Ausubel (No One is Here Except All of Us, 2013), and Justin Torres (We the Animals, 2012).