Fall is book prize time and The Center for Fiction announced the short list for their Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize last week. A wide range of eight books made it to this list; I will write about two.
Anthony Marra’s, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, has been getting a lot of press and looks like an intriguing look at war. Set it Chechnya in 2004, it tells the story of a young girl whose father is abducted by Russian forces.
Another book on their list, which I had not heard about before, is Motherlunge by Kirstin Scott. A voice-driven novel about motherhood and family, Motherlunge won the AWP Prize for the Novel.
Meanwhile, the National Book Foundation announced their 5 under 35 honorees for 2013. All five choices were women this year, which is nice to see. All of the writers also just published (or are about to publish) debut books. Two of the authors whose novels came out in the U.S. in 2013 are: NoViolet Bulawayo’s, We Need New Names (which is also on the Booker shortlist) and Amanda Coplin’s The Orchardist.