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10 writers win 2024 Whiting Awards for emerging authors

The Whiting Foundation

Ten emerging writers have won the 2024 Whiting Awards, announced in a ceremony Wednesday night.

Each writer will receive $50,000 to help support their craft — one of largest awards granted to new authors. A number of past Whiting winners have gone on to publish award-winning and bestselling works, including Hernan Diaz, Catherine Lacey, Colson Whitehead, Alice McDermott and Ocean Vuong. A few of this year's winners have already made a name for themselves in the books world, too.

Courtney Hodell, Whiting's director of literary programs, said in a statement: "This year's winners have made liminal space their own — that place of potential that exists between states, whether those are genres, languages, countries, or definitions of self."

Here are the 2024 Whiting Award Winners:

(with comments from the Whiting committee)

Aaliyah Bilal (fiction) whose short story collection Temple Folk "invites readers into a world whose complexity has been often overlooked, informing her explorations with a prickling specificity and psychological insight"

Yoon Choi (fiction) whose "supple prose propels the reader through these unhurried, layered stories of the Korean diaspora, exploring the bonds and rifts between generations and the weight of secrets" in the work Skinship

Shayok Misha Chowdhury (drama) who "writes with ruthless splendor and inventiveness about the borders of language, sexuality, the public self and the hidden life," including in Public Obscenities

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (drama) "whose meticulous and politically acute fables bring the histories of nations, of capital, and of censorship to life," including in the trilogy The China Plays

Elisa Gonzalez (poetry) who uses The Iliad to examine her brothers death

Taylor Johnson (poetry) whose poems, including those in Inheritance, are "of steely subtlety that sing of desire, a hunger for fresh language and forms"

Gothataone Moeng (ficton) whose "nine big-hearted, capacious stories, rooted in the villages and cities of Botswana, examine all that blooms and breaks in the bonds, desires, and ambitions of women" in Call and Response

Charif Shanahan (poetry) whose Trace Evidence "sets out to discover how a person should live. His laboratory is the fierce, complex pull of attachment and separation from his mother, his family, his beloveds; love turns itself, in his hands, into a crucible to understand other truths – about race, sexuality, belonging"

Javier Zamora (nonfiction and poetry) who is the New York Times-bestselling writer of the memoir Solito and also the author of the "watchful, incantatory" collection of poems Unaccompanied. "His work transmutes testimony into art; whatever he turns his eye on next will also enlarge us"

Ada Zhang (fiction) whose "graceful, crystalline stories" in The Sorrows of Others "explore the paradox that historical silences and legacies of the past – in particular, the impact of the Cultural Revolution on Chinese Americans – can lead to new openings and new voices"

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Meghan Collins Sullivan is a senior editor on the Arts & Culture Desk, overseeing non-fiction books coverage at NPR. She has worked at NPR over the last 13 years in various capacities, including as the supervising editor for NPR.org – managing a team of online producers and reporters and editing multi-platform news coverage. She was also lead editor for the 13.7: Cosmos and Culture blog, written by five scientists on topics related to the intersection of science and culture.
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