The New Literary Project has announced the shortlist of five finalists for its 2022 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, which awards a mid-career author of fiction “who has earned an extraordinarily distinguished reputation and garnered the widespread appeal of readers.” Prize winners receive a $50,000 award to encourage their work, and the winner of the 2022 Prize will be in residence at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Bay Area in October 2022.
“If you wish a perfect reading list for our troubling and troubled times, these five authors are for you,” said Joseph Di Prisco, chair of the New Literary Project. “They are prodigiously talented and resonating writers who capture our cultural, political, artistic, and social tensions, and they imaginatively engage with the questions that preoccupy and define us. They do so in unexpected ways: by turns moving, subtle, hilarious, brave, impassioned, heartbreaking, and brilliantly original. The pandemic may have lured us into reading fiction in unprecedented fashion. We may or may not term that an upside, exactly, though novels and short stories do have a way of illuminating shadows and piloting us through depths. Nonetheless, these are guides to take you to new places—and home all over again.”
Without further ado, the five finalists and their most recent publications are:
Christopher Beha, The Index of Self-Destructive Acts (Tin House)
Percival Everett, The Trees (Graywolf Press)
Lauren Groff, Matrix (Riverhead Books)
Katie Kitamura, Intimacies (Riverhead Books)
Jason Mott, Hell of a Book
Congratulations to those recognized!