Best Young Writers

The New Yorker has announced their picks of the best 20 writers under 40. This is the magazine’s first such list since 1999, when it identified several future literary successes, such as Junot Díaz and Jhumpa Lahiri. Stories by the authors will be featured in upcoming issues.

By the way, the list is evenly divided between women and men.

Several of the authors have new books coming this fall; all but one were featured at the recent BEA librarians’ Shout & Share program:

Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel
Gary Shteyngart
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2010-07-27)
ISBN / EAN: 1400066409 / 9781400066407

Also picked as a summer read by Time magazine, this is the author’s third book after The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (2003) and Absurdistan (2007).


Great House: A Novel
Nicole Krauss
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company – (2010-10-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0393079988 / 9780393079982

This is the third novel by Krauss, who is married to another author on the list, Jonathan Safron Foer. Her History of Love (Norton, 2005) received acclaim and was a fixture on several best seller lists in paperback.


How to Read the Air
Dinaw Mengestu
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover – (2010-10-14)
ISBN / EAN: 1594487707 / 9781594487705

Mengestu’s first book, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, won many awards


The only one of the group not mentioned during Shout & Share is a title coming out in March, 2011.

The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel
Tea Obreht
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2011-03-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0385343833 / 9780385343831


The rest of the authors have published books that are well-represented in libraries; a good opportunity for a display. The list below shows each author’s latest titles; links are to EarlyWord coverage.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 32 — The Thing Around Your Neck, Knopf, 6/10

Daniel Alarcón, 33 — Secret Miracle: The Novelist’s Handbook, Holt, 4/10

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, 38 — Ms. Hempel Chronicles, Holt, 9/08

Joshua Ferris, 35 — The Unnamed, 1/10

Jonathan Safran Foer, 33 — Eating Animals, Little, Brown, 11/09

Nell Freudenberger, 35 — The Dissident, Ecco, 8/06

Rivka Galchen, 34 — Atmospheric Disturbances, 5/08

Yiyun Li, 37 — Vagrants, 3/09

Philipp Meyer, 36 — American Rust, Spiegle & Grau, 2/09

C.E. Morgan, 33 — All the Living, FSG, 3/09

ZZ Packer, 37 — Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, Riverhead, 3/03

Karen Russell, 28 — St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Knopf, 9/06

Salvatore Scibona, 35 — The End, Graywolf Press, 10/09; was a surprise nominee for the National Book Awards in ’09, but lost out to Peter Matthiessen’s Shadow Country

Wells Tower, 37 — Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, FSG, 2/10 — was on several Best Books lists last year.

One Response to “Best Young Writers”

  1. SUPER SAD TRUE Media Blitz | EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection Says:

    […] named to the New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list, Shteyngart thumbed his nose at literary pomposity earlier this month with […]