Here’s another item to add to the long list of not-happening life events—after riding in a helicopter and becoming a triathlete—being a National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35 honoree. The books of this year’s selection of five distinguished young writers are an exciting foretaste of our reading futures. The honorees, selected by past National Book Award winners and finalists, are:
- Yelena Akhtioskaya, Panic in a Suitcase, two decades in the life of a Russian immigrant family in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn
- Alex Gilvarry, From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, a young Filipino immigrant steeped in New York’s fashion world finds himself accused of participation in a terrorist plot
- Phil Klay, Redeployment, a novel of the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq still being waged in the minds of our returning soldiers
- Valeria Luiselli, Faces in the Crowd, three narrators’ overlapping stories of love and loss
- Kirsetn Valdez Quade, Night at the Fiestas, intense and darkly humorous stories that cover the range of human desires “to escape the past and to plumb its depths”
Reading them can definitely go on my list of happening things.