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
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
Jonathan Safran Foer
C E Morgan
Z Z Packer
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.