The National Book Foundation has named its 5 Under 35 honorees for 2016.
The honorees include Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers (Riverhead), selected by judge Jacqueline Woodson; Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing (Knopf), selected by judge Ta-Nehisi Coates; Greg Jackson, author of Prodigals (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), selected by judge Lauren Groff; S. Li, author of Transoceanic Lights (Harvard Square Editions), selected by judge Karen Bender; and Thomas Pierce, author of Hall of Small Mammals (Riverhead), selected by judge Amity Gaige.
"Most people have heard of the National Book Awards, but for 11 years the National Book Foundation has also been devoted to shining a light on emerging talent," National Book Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas said in a statement. "These novels and short story collections are among the best we’ve seen and remind us that literature is alive and thriving."
Each honoree will receive a $1,000 prize, sponsored by the Amazon Literary Partnership. This year’s honorees have also been recognized and supported by the Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers, the O. Henry Prize, the National Magazine Award, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the University of Virginia, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
"We are proud to add the current 5 Under 35 honorees to the National Book Foundation’s roster of remarkable writers," David Steinberger, chairman of the board of directors of the National Book Foundation, said in a statement. "There is no doubt that all 5 Under 35 honorees have expanded and will continue to expand the literary landscape by producing work that engages the world at large."