The New York Public Library unveiled the shortlist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, given annually to an American author aged 35 or under.
Brandon Taylor was named a finalist for Real Life, his celebrated debut novel. The book was previously shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize for best first book.
Meng Jin made the shortlist for Little Gods, which was also longlisted for this year’s PEN/Open Book Award.
Two other books recognized by PEN America’s awards were named Young Lions finalists: Catherine Lacey’s Pew, which was longlisted for the PEN/Jean Stein Award, and C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills Is Gold, shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel.
Hilary Leichter made the shortlist for Temporary; published by Emily Books/Coffee House, the novel is the only indie-press book to be named a finalist.
The Young Lions award, which comes with a cash prize of $10,000, was founded in 2001 by actor Ethan Hawke, agent Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, author Rick Moody, and consultant Hannah McFarland. Previous winners have included Karen Russell for Swamplandia! and Bryan Washington for Lot.
The winner of this year’s award will be announced at an online ceremony on June 17.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.