The Center for Fiction has just announced its shortlist for the 2021 First Novel Prize. The seven titles were selected from a longlist of twenty-seven debut novels, all published in the US between January 1 to December 21. The prize, first established in 2006, celebrates the best debut fiction of the year; the winner will receive a $15,000 prize and the other shortlisted authors will receive $1,000 each.
The shortlisted authors will be recognized at the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Fête on Friday, December 3rd. Each author will select an actor to perform a reading from their novel and celebrate with the wider literary community. The winner will be announced at the Center’s Annual Awards Benefit and 200th Anniversary Celebration on Tuesday, December 7th.
Below are the shortlisted titles.
Priyanka Champaneri, The City of Good Death (Restless Books)
Linda Rui Feng, Swimming Back to Trout River (Simon & Schuster)
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (HarperCollins/Harper)
Violet Kupersmith, Build Your House Around My Body (Penguin Random House/Random House)
Patricia Lockwood, No One Is Talking About This (Penguin Random House/Riverhead Books)
Jackie Polzin, Brood (Penguin Random House/Doubleday)
Kirstin Valdez Quade, The Five Wounds (W. W. Norton & Company)