The winners of the Whiting Award represent "The Future of Literature". See full list: NPR



Recipients of the Whiting Award 2019 (clockwise from left): poet Kayleb Rae Candrilli, poet Tyree Daye, novelist Hernan Diaz, playwright Michael R. Jackson, Fiction writer Terese Marie Mailhot, fiction writer Nonfiction, playwright Lauren Yee and playwright Lauren Yee and poet Vanessa Angelica Villarreal. , novelist Merrit Tierce and fiction writer Nafissa Thompson-Spiers.

Courtesy of the Whiting Foundation


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Recipients of the Whiting Award 2019 (clockwise from left): poet Kayleb Rae Candrilli, poet Tyree Daye, novelist Hernan Diaz, playwright Michael R. Jackson, Fiction writer Terese Marie Mailhot, fiction writer Nonfiction, playwright Lauren Yee and playwright Lauren Yee and poet Vanessa Angelica Villarreal. , novelist Merrit Tierce and fiction writer Nafissa Thompson-Spiers.

Courtesy of the Whiting Foundation

Reasonable Warning: It can be difficult to find some of the winners of the Whiting Award 2019 on the shelves of your local bookstore. Most emerging writers have just one book widely published in their name. Two of them do not even have that.

But what's missing in Whiting's 10 new winners in book credits and international awards is more than just talent and promise – at least, according to the award judges, who each award $ 50,000 in hope to give to the winners. "A first opportunity to devote yourself fully to writing, and recognition has a significant impact."

The winners announced at a ceremony Wednesday night in New York, listed alphabetically, are: the poet Kayleb Rae Candrilli, the poet Tyree Daye, the novelist Hernan Diaz, the playwright Michael R. Jackson, the 39; fiction writer Ne Terri Marie Mailhot, non-fiction writer Nadia Owusu, novelist Nafissa Thompson-Spiers, novelist Merritt Tierce, poet Vanessa Angélica Villarreal and playwright Lauren Yee.

"Every year, our group of anonymous expert candidates tells us some of the most exciting and vital work going on today," said Courtney Hodell, Awards Manager, in a statement released Wednesday. "These names may be new to us, but they write the future of literature in this country."

If the names above are a little hard to recognize for the average reader, the names on the list they join – the list of winners dating back to the creation of the award in 1985 – share no such problem . Colson Whitehead, David Wallace Foster, Lydia Davis, Jonathan Franzen and Tracy K. Smith, among many others, won the Whiting before seeing their jackets featured in bookstores around the world.

With this in mind, here are some brief introductions to this year's winners, along with what Whiting judges had to say about their work.

Kayleb Rae CandrilliMemory in verse, What's going on, is a portrait of an education in a desolate rural area of ​​Pennsylvania that – according to Whiting JJ. – testifies to "savage grace as it exposes the violence and isolation of the transition to the age of a transgender person ".

The judges explain that Tyree Dayeof River Hymns, collection of poems, proposes "the images of the fluvial life are gathered in a clear language, lucid, unexpected, and often unforgettable: the taking of images of the highest quality".

Hernan Diaz – including the first novel, Far off, a finalist last year for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN / Faulkner Award for Fiction, proposes to explore "two types of wild landscapes: the extremely distressing novelty of the American West and the". Always immutable interiority of a desperate Swedish immigrant find a way to get home. "

In a first for whiting, Michael R. Jackson has been recognized for his work in musicals. (Tony Kushner, winner of the 1990 Whiting, did not write Caroline or Change until after his victory.) Jackson's current work, A strange loop, which takes its first steps in New York in May, "shows a flawless intelligence, an unshakable integrity, a vertiginous spin, and a pure delight."

Terese Marie Mailhot, a Canadian First Nations writer, recounted his own life in a first memoir, Heart Berries, which carries "a fierce and inflexible commitment to creating an inimitable narrator, that is to say, entirely human,".

Nadia OwusuThe first fiction book of the latter has not even been published yet, but the chapter of the lyrical essay of the urban planner, So, a devilish fire, nevertheless attracted the attention of Whiting judges. They describe it as a "deep meditation on uprooting, hybridity and resilience".

This may well be a name recognized by literary award observers: Nafissa Thompson-Spiers. His collection of short stories, Heads of the Colored People, was selected last year for the National Book Award and for the Kirkus Prize. The judges say that she writes with a "bold new voice – young, gifted, black, not afraid of her own contradictions and powerful enough to take the writer wherever she wishes."

Judges described Merritt Tiercefirst novel of, Love me backlike "clear-eyed, dark-hearted and biting funny." The author was honored on the National Book Foundation's 5-year and under-35 list in 2013.

In his book Meridian beast, the judges say that the poet Vanessa Angélica Villarreal unfolds lines that "flicker with anger and sympathy" in a work that places readers in "a porous border world of double (or multiple) identities".

Playwright Lauren Yee, one of the most prolific recipients of the 2019 ", examines the legacy of the Khmer Rouge in a play[[[[Cambodian rock band]it also takes into account the dynamics of father / daughter relations and the joyful legacy of Cambodian pop music. "


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