US National Book Award Foundation Names Its 2022 ‘5 Under 35’

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The ‘5 Under 35’ honorees from the National Book Foundation include two authors published by independent houses.

At the 2019 National Book Awards, Cipriani Wall Street, New York City. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Dickey: ‘Debut Works That Showcase Outstanding Craft’
The National Book Foundation today (April 13) has announced its annual “5 Under 35” honorees, five fiction writers 34 or younger “whose debut work promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape.”

Each member of the quintet was selected by at least one National Book Award winner, finalist, or longlisted author who was previously recognized, her- or himself, by the 5 Under 35 program.

Five Under 35 honorees are writers from many parts of the world.

To be eligible, they must have published their first and only book of fiction—either a short story collection or a novel—within the last five years.

The 2022 ‘5 Under 35’ Award Winners
  • Alexandra Chang, Days of Distraction, Ecco / HarperCollins Publishers
    Selected by Jason Mott, 2021 National Book Award Winner for Fiction
  • Joseph Han, Nuclear Family, Counterpoint Press
    Selected by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, 2015 5 Under 35 honoree
  • Crystal Hana Kim, If You Leave Me, William Morrow / HarperCollins Publishers
    Selected by Min Jin Lee, 2017 National Book Award finalist for fiction
  • Clare Sestanovich, Objects of Desire: Stories, Knopf / Penguin Random House
    Selected by Anthony Doerr, 2021 National Book Award finalist for fiction, 2014 National Book Award finalist for fiction
  • Alyssa Songsiridej, Little Rabbit, Bloomsbury Publishing
    Selected by Julia Phillips, 2019 National Book Award finalist for fiction
Steinberger: ‘Next Generation of Literary Luminareies’

In a prepared statement, National Book Foundation board chair David Steinberger is quoted, saying, “The 5 Under 35 program continues to honor the next generation of literary luminaries, and this year’s honorees represent some of the best new fiction in recent years.

David Steinberger

“It’s an honor to welcome these authors into the National Book Foundation family, champion their debuts, and connect readers everywhere with these wonderful new voices.”

Ruth Dickey, executive director of the foundation, says, “It’s such a joy to recognize debut works that showcase outstanding craft and storytelling, and we’re grateful to our expert selectors who read enthusiastically to identify these stunning books.”

This is the 17th year of operation for this program.

Selectors’ decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff board. Their deliberations are strictly confidential.

For the first time, the 5 Under 35 Ceremony will take place in the spring. Both the 2022 and 2021 honorees will be celebrated at an invitation-only ceremony in New York City this June. The 2021 honorees are Caleb Azumah Nelson, Nathan Harris, Lee Lai, Claire Luchette, and Dantiel W. Moniz.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 74th awards-related report published in the 73 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the National Book Awards in the United States is here and more on the huge field of international book awards and prizes is here. More from us on the United States’ market is here

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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