Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers program has announced the nine titles on its fall 2016 list. The selection committee is comprised of B&N booksellers whom the company described as "voracious readers who meet weekly throughout the year to look for compelling voices, extraordinary writing, and indelible stories from literary talents at the start of their careers."
Some 60 books are picked for the program each year from the thousand-plus submissions from publishers of all sizes, and from those, an independent panel of distinguished writers chooses the winner of B&N's annual Discover Awards, presenting a total of $105,000 to six young writers.
The fall list consists of:
The Nix by Nathan Hill (Knopf, August). "A smart, laugh-out-loud-funny, and bighearted novel about love, loss, longing, and family secrets that pings across decades, countries, and generations and features an unforgettable mother and son at the center of a raucous cast of characters."
Art of Waiting by Belle Boggs (Graywolf, September). "Belle Boggs draws on science, memoir, history, reporting, and cultural commentary to deliver a beautifully written, empathetic meditation about fertility and the choices we make to build our families."
Blood at the Root by Patrick Phillips (Norton, September). "Patrick Phillips brings to life an ugly and harrowing episode of American history in this meticulously researched and powerfully written history of his hometown, and the violence that kept the community all white, well into the 1990s."
Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein (Picador, September). "We're crazy for these inventive, cautionary tales set in a near-future world of social media implants, manufactured memories, robots and virtual reality games--and tore through these incredibly fresh stories a single sitting."
Mischling by Affinity Konar (Little, Brown, September)."The subject's undeniably difficult, but Affinity Konar's exquisite prose carried us through this kaleidoscopic story, and the waves of emotion (fear and longing and love are just the start) that accompany the unforgettable Zagorski sisters in this haunting, often dreamlike debut."
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October). "A family falls apart and comes back together in this sparkling--and sharp--debut novel that reminds us of The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. An impulsive decision by a self-made cosmetics mogul rocks his family, but what happens next surprises all of them in this witty story of money and manners, identity and the American Dream."
The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy (Crown, October). "I'm the whirling dervish of Queens, spinning around and around, arms flapping, my father's boxing gloves like cinder blocks strapped to my seven-year-old hands. We quickly fell in love with Tara Clancy's inimitable and often wickedly funny voice--and couldn't get enough of the ups-and-downs of her loving and offbeat family."
The Lion in the Living Room by Abigail Tucker (Simon & Schuster, October). "Celebrity house cats ink movie deals, make charitable donations, and count Hollywood starlets among their Twitter followers. All that, and cats still have no use for humans. Dig deep into the history, biology, and science of house cats in this charming--and highly informative--read that explains how cats came to rule."
Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch (Doubleday, November). "A thoughtful, immersive novel like Erika Swyler's The Book of Speculation or Leslie Parry's Church of Marvels. Two concurrent storylines--each featuring a young woman making her way in the world--pull the past and present together in this atmospheric tale of fame and self-definition."