National Book Foundation honors “5 Under 35” — and they’re all women


The National Book Foundation, which sponsors the National Book Awards, has announced the winners of its “5 Under 35” award for exceptionally promising young writers who debuted in the past year, and all are women.

According to the NBF, each recipient “promises to leave an indelible mark on the literary landscape.” The writers are selected by previous recipients of the award. The honorees receive $1,000 and will be honored at a reception on November 13.

“At a moment in which we are having the necessary conversations surrounding the under-representation of female voices, it’s a thrill to see this list of tremendous women chosen organically by our selectors,” said Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation. “These writers and their work represent an incredibly bright future for the world of literary fiction.”


The honorees are:

 Lesley Nneka Arimah, What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky (selected by Chris Bachelder, 2016 National Book Award finalist for Fiction for The Throwback Special)

Halle Butler, Jillian (selected by Lydia Millet, 2016 National Book Award Longlist for Fiction for Sweet Lamb of Heaven)

Zinzi Clemmons, What We Lose (selected by Angela Flournoy, 2015 National Book Award finalist for Fiction for The Turner House)

Leopoldine Core, When Watched (selected by Karan Mahajan, 2016 National Book Award finalist for Fiction for The Association of Small Bombs)

Weike Wang, Chemistry (selected by Sherman Alexie, 2007 National Book Award winner for Young People’s Literature for  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)

Learn more about the honorees and their books here.


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