NEW YORK, NY – February 3, 2015 –Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the nation’s largest retail bookseller and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced the six finalists for its prestigious 2014 Discover Great New Writers Awards. The Discover Great New Writers program, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, recognizes great fiction and nonfiction debuts from authors at the start of their careers. Since 1990, the program has introduced readers to more than 1,800 extraordinary literary talents, many of whom have gone on to become household names.
The finalists for the 2014 Discover Great New Writers Awards are:
Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans (W.W. Norton & Company). A collection of diverse, powerful short stories about dissidents, activists and ordinary people caught in uncertain times.
Arna Bontemps Hemenway, Elegy on Kinderklavier (Sarabande Books). Suffused with tragedy and razor-sharp, these short stories explore the effects of battlefields, military or civilian, on humanity.
Evie Wyld, All the Birds, Singing (Pantheon Books). An evocative, beautifully written, and often very funny novel about a young woman isolated by geography and her secretive past.
Bryce Andrews, Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West (Atria Books). A modern-day Montana cattle hand movingly describes how it really feels to live in the borderlands between wilderness and civilization.
Caitlin Doughty, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (W.W. Norton & Company). With humor and compassion, a young licensed mortician demystifies the topic that none of us can avoid.
Will Harlan, Untamed (Grove/Atlantic). As much a study of a changing community and all its inhabitants – human and animal – as it is a biography of a fearless, self-taught scientist (who knows more about sea turtles than most experts) and the lengths she’ll go to protect what she believes in.
The winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 4, at a private awards ceremony in New York City. The winners in each category, fiction and nonfiction, will receive a $10,000 prize and a full year of additional promotion from Barnes & Noble. Second-place finalists will receive $5,000, and third-place finalists $2,500.
Books by the finalists and judges can be purchased at any Barnes & Noble store, online at Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com/discover) or instantly downloaded on any NOOK® eReader or tablet.
Two panels of distinguished literary judges selected the finalists and will select the winners.
Serving as this year’s fiction judges are:
Chris Adrian, named one of the New Yorker’s “20 Under 40.” He is the author of the novels The Great Night, Gob’s Grief and The Children’s Hospital, and a collection of stories, A Better Angel, a New York Times Notable Book. His most recent novel, The New World, a collaboration with Eli Horowitz, will be released in hardcover by FSG in May 2015. Adrian lives in New York City where he works as a pediatric oncologist.
Anne Cherian, born and raised in Jamshedpur, India. She is the author of two novels, A Good Indian Wife, a Discover Great New Writers selection and winner of the 2009 South Asian Excellence Literature Award, and The Invitation. Cherian is working on her third novel.
Sheri Holman, author of five novels, including the national bestselling The Dress Lodger, a Discover Great New Writers selection; The Mammoth Cheese, shortlisted for the UK's Orange Prize; and Witches on the Road Tonight, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel. Holman is a founding member of The Moth, and her stories have been featured on its popular podcast and Radio Hour. She is currently working on a new novel and developing projects for television.
This year’s nonfiction judges are:
Malcolm Jones, author of the memoir, Little Boy Blues. Jones collaborated with the songwriter and composer Van Dyke Parks and the illustrator Barry Moser on Jump!, a retelling of Brer Rabbit stories. A longtime writer for Newsweek, he is now the book editor of The Daily Beast.
Pagan Kennedy, a former columnist for the New York Times Magazine, is now working on a book about the science of invention, due out in 2015 from Houghton Mifflin. She is the author of 10 previous books, and her articles have appeared in the NY Times Sunday Review, Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine and other venues. Kennedy is a recipient of numerous literary awards, including an NEA fellowship and two Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowships, and she also studied microbiology and neuroengineering at MIT as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow.
Héctor Tobar, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and novelist, is the author of Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free, The Barbarian Nurseries (Discover Great New Writers selection), Translation Nation, and The Tattooed Soldier. The son of Guatemalan immigrants, he is a native of Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and three children.
The Discover Awards
The Discover Great New Writers program, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015, has introduced readers to more than 1,800 extraordinary literary talents, many of whom have gone on to become household names since its inception in 1990.
The Discover program's selection committee is comprised of Barnes & Noble booksellers from across the company and around the country. They are voracious readers who meet weekly throughout the year to look for compelling voices, extraordinary writing, and indelible stories from literary talents at the start of their careers.
Sixty-four books were handpicked for the program in 2014 from the 1,000+ submissions from publishers of all sizes, and from those, the judges select the shortlist and the winners of the Discover Awards.
Past winners of the annual Discover Great New Writers Award include Anthony Marra for A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and Justin St. Germain for Son of a Gun (both 2013), Amanda Coplin for The Orchardist and Cheryl Strayed for Wild (both 2012), Joshua Ferris for Then We Came to the End (2007), Ben Fountain for Brief Encounters with Che Guevara (2006), Alison Smith for Name All the Animals (2004), Anthony Doerr for The Shell Collector (2002), Hampton Sides for Ghost Soldiers (2001), Elizabeth McCracken for The Giant’s House (1996), and Chang-rae Lee for Native Speaker (1995).
For more information on the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, please visit www.bn.com/discover, or ask one of the knowledgeable booksellers at Barnes & Noble’s more than 650 stores nationwide.