Like a lot of people, I’m pretty much exhausted with hearing about literary awards–there’s nothing like starting a litblog to find out just how many of them are out there. So I wouldn’t have much to say about the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award (given to writers under 35), except for the last book on the list of finalists:
Ron Currie, Jr., author of God Is Dead (Viking, 2007)
Ellen Litman, who wrote The Last Chicken in America (Norton, 2007)
Peter Nathaniel Malae, who penned Teach the Free Man (Swallow Press, 2007)
Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead, 2007)
Emily Mitchell, who wrote The Last Summer of the World (Norton, 2007).
Mitchell’s The Last Summer of the World, a novelization of the life of photographer Edward Steichen, was one of my favorite novels of 2007, and I don’t recall it making much of a noise when it came out. (I made a brief peep about it in City Paper.) Anything that helps bang the drum for it, I’m for, even if it demands an evening with Ethan Hawke.