Book News: 'Best' young writers selected
Share with others:
Granta, the British literary magazine that loves American writers, has been ranking the country's young novelists (under 40) since 1996.
This year, it's lowered the admission age to 35, because, says editor Ian Jack, "We reasoned that as people seem to be writing [and publishing] fiction sooner ... they have at least in theory a head start on their predecessors and should be getting better, quicker."
The result is a list of 21 writers Granta is calling the "best of young American novelists" of 2007. They are featured in its spring edition.
It's quite a diverse list:
Daniel Alarcon ("Lost City Radio"), Judy Budnitz ("If I told You Once"), John Wray ("Canaan's Tongue"), Gary Shteyngart ("Absurdistan"), Kevin Brockmeirer ("The Truth About Celia";
Christopher Coake ("We're in Trouble"), Akhil Sharma ("An Obedient Father"), Karen Russell ("St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves"), Anthony Doerr ("About Grace"), Jonathan Safran Foer ("Everything Is Illuminated");
Jess Row ("The Train to Lo Wu"), Nell Freudenberger ("The Dissident"), ZZ Packer ("Drinking Coffee Elsewhere"), Maile Meloy ("A Family Daughter"), Olga Grushin ("The Dream Life of Sukanhov");
Dara Horn ("In the Image"), Yiyun Li ("A Thousand Years of Good Prayers"), Rattawut Lapcharoensap ("Sightseeing"), Gabe Hudson ("Dear Mr. President"), Uzodinma Iweala ("Beasts of No Nations") and Nicole Kraus ("The History of Love").
It is a list of many nationalities and not one easy to type. Some names are familiar, while others are relative unknowns.
When Granta announced its first list, Pittsburgh's Stewart O'Nan was among the names, and he has more than justified his selection since. Others who persevered 11 years ago: Jonathan Franzen, Sherman Alexie, Lorrie Moore, Jeffrey Eugenides and Elizabeth McCracken.
Two of the next three reading programs are competing for the record of most number of poets on one night. We have a lot of names to list, so let's get started:
The Hemingway Summer Poetry Series opens tonight at the venerable Oakland tavern with the pool table in the reading area. The free programs will be Tuesdays through July 31.
The Madwomen of the Attic poets with Jan Beatty kick off the season at 8 p.m. On the bill with Beatty are:
Madalon Amenta, Tess Barry, Ruth Hendricks, Christina Murdoch, Leone Paradise, Erika Similio, Kathy Surma, Ann Tomer, Bernadette Ulsamer, Sarah Williams and Laurin Wolf.
As usual, Jimmy Cvetic is the referee and host. Hemingway's is at 3911 Forbes Ave.
The Gist Street Reading Series returns to its regular first Friday of the month schedule this week with novelist Michael Byers and poet David Young on the bill.
It should draw a crowd, so get there around 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. event. It's at 305 Gist St., Uptown. Admission is $5 and BYOB. Best source of information is www.giststreet.org.
Fourteen younger poets with Pittsburgh connections are scheduled to offer their work in public May 10 at the New Yinzer-River Water reading.
Sponsors are the online literary magazine and upcoming anthology of poetry. The site is Modern Formations, 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
The poets on the program are: Andy Mulkerin, Jerome Crooks, Jacquelyn Seigle, Thomas Kane, Jason Endress, Tiffany Merriman-Preston; Shannon Norman, Jonathan Loucks, Claire Donato, Jonathan Moody, Jessica Fenlon, Scott Silsbe, Kristofer Collins and Ed Steck.
First Published April 30, 2007 6:41 pm