The New York Public Library has unveiled the shortlist for its Young Lions Fiction Award, given annually to an American author under the age of 35.
Bryan Washington was named a finalist for his debut short story collection, Lot, which was also recently honored with the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize. A reviewer for Kirkus called the book a “promising, and at times powerful, debut that explores the nuances of race, class, and sexuality with considerable aplomb.”
Julia Phillips made the shortlist for Disappearing Earth. Phillips’ acclaimed debut novel was also a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize.
Steph Cha was named a finalist for her novel Your House Will Pay, which recently won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller.
Judging this year’s award are authors Mitchell Jackson and Ling Ma, and actor Ethan Hawke, who co-founded the prize in 2001. The winner of the award will receive a $10,000 cash prize. Past winners of the prize have included Colson Whitehead for John Henry Days, Karen Russell for Swamplandia!, and Paul Yoon for Snow Hunters.
The winner of this year’s award will be announced in the fall.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.