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Unpublished Writer, Rising YA Star, Mother of Two Among 5 Under 35 Honorees

Read more from G&A: The Contest Blog

A blog from: Poets & Writers Magazine

Posted by Prize Reporter on 10.04.11

The National Book Foundation has announced the latest crop of emerging writers to be recognized with the organization's 5 Under 35 honor. Nominated by former winners and finalists for the National Book Award, the five young fiction writers will be feted later this fall at an event hosted by John Waters in New York City.

Shani Boianjiu of Jerusalem, the youngest of the honorees at twenty-four, was selected for 5 Under 35 by Nicole Krauss. A veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, Boianjiu is working on a novel titled, "The People of Forever Are Not Afraid."

Danielle Evans, author of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize–winning story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (Riverhead Books, 2010), was nominated by Robert Stone. Evans, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, lives in Washington, D.C.

Julia Glass selected New York State native Mary Beth Keene, author of The Walking People (Mariner Books, 2009). Keene, a mother of two boys, is working on her second novel.

Alaska-born Melinda Moustakis, whose first book, Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories (Unviersity of Georgia Press, 2011), won the Flannery O'Connor Award in Short Fiction, was selected by Jaimy Gordon.

Oscar Hijuelos chose Louisiana author John Corey Whaley, the first 5 Under 35 author to be recognized for young adult fiction. Whaley's debut is the novel Where Things Come Back (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011).

The 5 Under 35 celebration, held on November 14, will kick off National Book Awards week. The awards in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and young people's literature will be announced at the foundation's annual dinner on November 16.

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