Sunday, March 05, 2006

B&N Finds Great New Writers

Winners of the 13th annual Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Awards are:


First place: Beasts of No Nation (HarperCollins), Uzodinma Iweala's first novel about an African boy forced to become a soldier early in life. Fiction jurist Carrie Brown commented: "For its breathtaking portrayal of the survival of the human spirit in the face of suffering and cruelty, Beasts of No Nation would be a remarkable accomplishment for a writer practicing at the height of maturity and skill. Uzodinma Iweala was only 23 years old when he published this novel, but it is unmistakably an imaginative tour de force. [He] has found a voice for young Agu, an African child soldier conscripted into a brutal guerilla army, which is both harrowing and heartbreaking. The novel is testament to the profound ability of literature to show us horror, dismantle it and identify its parts, and arrive in the silent ether of the aftermath with something utterly unforgettable and, most importantly, worth cherishing."

Second place: Kitty Fitzgerald's first novel, Pigtopia (Miramax Books).

Third place: Catherine Tudish's short-story collection, Tenney's Landing (Scribner)


First place: One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick (Houghton Mifflin), a memoir of the author's Marine Corps service. Nonfiction judge Tom Groneberg said, "One Bullet Away is about two wars in different places. It's about . . . [a] fight to become a Marine officer . . and . . . the fights on the streets of Iraq and in the countryside of Afghanistan, the battle within a young soldier to do the right thing despite what the textbooks or his superiors might command. . . . While the book's subtitle might be: 'The Making of a Marine Officer,' ultimately, [Fick's book] heralds the making of a truly powerful new writer."

Second place: Martin Moran's memoir, The Tricky Part (Beacon Press)

Third place: Louise Brown's groundbreaking foray into a world of dynastic prostitution, The Dancing Girls of Lahore (Fourth Estate)

First-place winners receive $10,000 and a year of additional marketing and advertising support. Second-place winners receive $5,000, and third-place winners nab $2,500. All finalists are also given Tiffany awards and were honored yesterday at a private ceremony and read from their works in the evening at the Lincoln Triangle B&N in New York City.

The awards honor the best of the 70 authors featured in B&N's Discover Great New Writers program last year.

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