Indie Next List Authors Named to National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” List

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Brit Bennett, author of the The Mothers, booksellers’ top pick for the October Indie Next List, and Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing, a June Indie Next List pick and a Summer/Fall 2016 Indies Introduce debut, are among the five young writers chosen for the National Book Foundation’s 2016  “5 Under 35” list.

Brit Bennett
Brit Bennett

The National Book Foundation revealed this year’s honorees on Thursday, September 29; the foundation’s announcement of the National Book Award finalists will follow on Thursday, October 13. The 5 Under 35, now in its 11th year, honors five debut fiction writers under the age of 35 “whose work promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape.”

All 5 Under 35 honorees are selected by a committee of National Book Award winners and finalists, as well as by writers previously recognized on the list. Jacqueline Woodson, whose novel Another Brooklyn (Amistad) topped the August 2016 Indie Next List, chose Bennett and Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose book Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau) made the September 2015 Indie Next List, chose Gyasi

Yaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi

2016’s 5 Under 35 are:

  • Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers (Riverhead/Penguin Random House), selected by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing (Knopf/Penguin Random House), selected by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Greg Jackson, author of Prodigals (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Macmillan), selected by Lauren Groff
  • S. Li, author of Transoceanic Lights (Harvard Square Editions), selected by Karen Bender
  • Thomas Pierce, author of Hall of Small Mammals (Riverhead /Penguin Random House), selected by Amity Gaige

The five honorees will receive a $1,000 prize and will be celebrated at an invitation-only ceremony on November 14.

The National Book Foundation has also created signature award medallions that booksellers can stick on books by the winning authors. Booksellers can order 1,000 of the medallions for $150 from the National Book Foundation website.

Learn more about Bennett and Gyasi.