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The New Yorker announces Top 20 Under 40

Are these the world's most promising young novelists?

For the first time in over a decade, the New Yorker has nominated its "20 Under 40" -- a list of the most promising young fiction writers internationally.

Selected by the magazine's editors, the list will appear in next Monday's double fiction issue, and features a mixture of familiar names - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nicole Krauss, Gary Shteyngart -- alongside some more obscure ones.

Here's the complete list, with links to New Statesman reviews, interviews and extracts where available:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chris Adrian
Daniel Alarcón
David Bezmozgis
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
Joshua Ferris
Jonathan Safran Foer
Nell Freudenberger
Rivka Galchen
Nicole Krauss
Yiyun Li
Dinaw Mengestu
Philipp Meyer
C E Morgan
Tea Obreht
Z Z Packer
Karen Russell
Salvatore Scibona
Gary Shteyngart
Wells Tower

By a process that Deborah Treisman, the magazine's fiction editor, described as a "rewarding accident", the 2010 list includes an equal number of men and women -- a dramatic shift from the 1999 line-up with its five female authors.

Aside from the writers ruled out by their age -- Dave Eggers and Colson Whitehead are both slightly too old -- there are some unusual omissions, most notably Zadie Smith. These idiosyncracies are perhaps explained by the list's pragmatic selection procedure, which demanded a publishable extract or short story from all candidates; those unable to produce one were removed from the running.

Back in 2007, Granta produced its own picks for the top young American authors -- a sequel to its 1996 list. It is perhaps surprising to find so much overlap, with a total of eight authors featuring on both lists.

When the New Yorker's list was last produced in 1999, it included future big-name authors such as David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen and Jhumpa Lahiri, boding well for this year's favoured few.

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