Monday, March 05, 2007

Best American Novelists Under 35?

I'm not sure I understand the point of this list, but Granta has anointed a number of the "best young American novelists," defining young as "under 35." Here's the list (but go to the Granta site for more information about each):

Daniel Alarcón
Kevin Brockmeier
Judy Budnitz
Christopher Coake
Anthony Doerr
Jonathan Safran Foer
Nell Freudenberger
Olga Grushin
Dara Horn
Gabe Hudson
Uzodinma Iweala
Nicole Krauss
Rattawut Lapcharoensap
Yiyun Li
Maile Meloy
ZZ Packer
Jess Row
Karen Russell
Akhil Sharma
Gary Shteyngart
John Wray

I've read work by many of these writers (Alarcon, Brockmeier, Budnitz, Foer, Freudenberger, Krauss, Lapcharoensap, Li, Packer, Row, Russell) and have to admit it's good stuff, even if it's not all to my taste. But what's the big deal about 35? As an "emerging older writer" (EOW!), I'm reasonably certain that age is irrelevant. For another discussion of the list, see Gawker.

2 comments:

Dan Wickett said...

I'm also curious as to what defines a novelist - apparently not one who has published a novel, looking at Coake, Lapcharoensap, and Row in particular. I like their writing, but does currently working on a novel make one a novelist?

Clifford Garstang said...

According to Granta, apparently, yes. Was it 2003 when Granta named Peter Ho Davies one of the Best Young British Novelists? At that point he'd just published his second story collection and, as you know, his first novel didn't come out until 2007.