The Longlist for the 2014 National Book Awards, announced last month, has been pared down to the five titles in each category, which comprise the finalists for prizes this year. Along with the previous announcement of the lineup for the 5 Under 35 event, which leads off the annual 3-day celebration organized by The National Book Foundation to honor the best in American publishing, this brings into focus the authors who will be at the center of the festivities of National Book Week next month.
5 Under 35, now in its ninth year, celebrates younger and emerging authors in fiction, each of whom are selected by past National Book Award Winners and Finalists and receive a cash award of $1,000. As demonstrated by the inclusion in 2013 of Molly Antopol, whose novel The UnAmericans was among the 10 titles on the Fiction Longlist for 2014, the selection of writers for the 5 Under 35 event often foreshadows greater subsequent recognition in the future for those so honored; this year Phil Klay has been tabbed as a 5 Under 35 participant while also making the Fiction Longlist.
Set for November 17 at the powerHouse Arena at 35 Main Street in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, 5 Under 35 features a vibe similar to the funky after-party of the National Book Awards, whereat much of the older and corporate attendees to the gala have departed and left the late-night revelries to those more interested in dancing than in having to catch a train to Cos Cob or Scarsdale. Renaissance Man Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson – his work as drummer for The Roots, various DJ gigs, and being Musical Director of ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ being only the most well-known of his engagements – will be host for the evening, and New Yorker editor Ben Greenman will serve as both DJ and moderator of a conversation with the authors after they read from their works; New York Times scribe Rosie Schaap will be on hand as guest bartender. The 5 Under 35 (with book titles and publishing dates) are:
Yelena Akhtiorskaya (Panic In a Suitcase, Riverhead, 2014)
Alex Gilvarry (From the Memoirs of a Non-Combatant, Viking, 2012)
Phil Klay (Redeployment, The Penguin Press/Penguin Group (USA), 2014)
Valeria Luiselli (Faces In The Crowd, Coffee House Press, 2014)
Kristin Valdez Quade (Night At The Fiesta, W.W. Norton & Company, 2015)
The following evening, on November 18, there will be a public reading by the finalists at The New School; tickets are available to the general public, and can be secured through the New School box office, either by calling 212-229-5488 or online via email@example.com or the url epay.newschool.edu. The next day the winners in each category will be chosen by the four respective panels over lunch prior to the announcement of their selections at the evening gala awards ceremony on November 19.
An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine (Grove Press/Grove/Atlantic)
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (Scribner/Simon & Schuster)
Redeployment, Phil Klay (The Penguin Press/Penguin Group (USA))
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)
Lila, Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)
No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes, Anand Gopal (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company)
Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, John Lahr (W.W. Norton & Company)
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, Evan Osnos (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Meaning of Human Existence, Edward O. Wilson (Liveright Publishing Corporation/W.W. Norton & Company)
Faithful and Virtuous Night, Louise Gluck (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Second Childhood, Fanny Howe (Graywolf Press)
This Blue, Maureen N. McLane (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Feel Trio, Fred Moten (Letter Machine Editions)
Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine (Graywolf Press)
YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE
Threatened, Eliot Schrefer (Scholastic Press)
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Publishers)
Noggin, John Corey Whaley (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy, Book Two, Deborah Wiles (Scholastic Press)
Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Group (USA))
For more information about the Finalists for the 2014 National Book Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award Winners, and details about the Awards ceremony, visit the National Book Foundation [http://www.nationalbook.org].