Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
4 June 2010

The New Yorker announces Top 20 Under 40

Are these the world's most promising young novelists?

By Alexandra Coghlan

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

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday - from the New Statesman. Sign up directly at The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. Sign up directly at Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

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.

Content from our partners
Planetary perspectives: how data can transform disaster response and preparation
How measurement can help turn businesses’ sustainability goals into action
How UK ports are unlocking green growth

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.