Chinelo Okparanta Makes the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Awards

    The New York Public Library picked five marvelous writers under the age of 35 as finalists to win the prestigious Young Lions Fiction Award for 2014. The $10,000 prize is awarded each spring, and past winners include Colson Whitehead, Karen Russell, Claire Vaye Watkins, Wells Tower, and Adam Levin.

    The 2014 finalists are:

    Chinelo Okparanta for Happiness, Like Water

    Matt Bell for In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods

    Jennifer duBois for Cartwheel

    Anthony Marra for A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

    Paul Yoon for Snow Hunters


    Chinelo Okparanta is the only African on the list. She was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She received her BS from Pennsylvania State University, her MA from Rutgers University, and her MFA from Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she served as a Provost’s Postgraduate Visiting Writer. She is the author of ‘America’ (2012), which was shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing. She has been nominated for a United States Artists Fellowship in Literature, and her collection of short stories, Happiness, Like Water (2013) was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.


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