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An Evening with the 5 Under 35 2021 Honorees | Caleb Azumah Nelson, Dantiel W. Moniz, Claire Luchette, Nathan Harris and Lee Lai

Wednesday, May 18 @ 6:00 pm

On Demand (Virtual)

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Join us for an unforgettable virtual conversation featuring the 2021 honorees of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 award. This special conversation will feature authors Caleb Azumah Nelson, Dantiel W. Moniz, Nathan Harris, Lee Lai and Claire Luchette, and will be moderated by Natalie Green, Senior Manager, Public Programs at the National Book Foundation.

About the 5 under 35 program

In 2006, the National Book Foundation established the 5 Under 35 prize to recognize young, debut fiction writers whose work promised to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape. 5 Under 35 has identified some of the most celebrated young writers working today. Previous honorees include Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Brit Bennett, Akwaeke Emezi, Angela Flournoy, Phil Klay, Valeria Luiselli, C.E. Morgan, Téa Obreht, ZZ Packer, Karen Russell, Justin Torres, Bryan Washington, Claire Vaye Watkins, Tiphanie Yanique, and Charles Yu.

5 Under 35 Honorees are writers from around the world, under the age of 35, who have published their first and only book of fiction—either a short story collection or a novel—within the last five years. The honorees are recognized at a ceremony and presented with a $1,000 prize. Championing young authors at the beginning of their careers is part of the Foundation’s efforts to celebrate books, promote inclusivity, and engage more readers.

5 Under 35 Honorees are selected by authors previously recognized by the National Book Foundation—either by National Book Awards or 5 Under 35 itself.

Lee Lai was born in 1993 in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia. Currently, Lai makes comics and illustrations in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal), Quebec. Her short story comics have been featured in The New Yorker, The Lifted Brow, Room Magazine, and Everyday Feminism.

Dantiel W. Moniz is the recipient of a National Book Foundation “5 under 35” Award, a Pushcart Prize, a MacDowell Fellowship, and the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, Harper’s Bazaar, American Short Fiction, Tin House, and elsewhere. Moniz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches fiction.

Caleb Azumah Nelson is a British-Ghanaian writer and photographer, living in South East London. His writing is forthcoming or has been published in the White Review and Litro. He was recently shortlisted for the BBC Short Story Award and the Palm Photo Prize and won the People’s Choice prize. Open Water is his first novel 

Nathan Harris holds an MFA from the Michener Center at the University of Texas. He is a recipient of the University of Oregon’s Kidd Prize and was a finalist for the Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Claire Luchette is the author of the novel Agatha of Little Neon. Their stories and essays have appeared in Best American Short Stories, the New York Times, Ploughshares, Granta, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Kenyon Review. A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, Claire has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.

About the Moderator: Natalie Green is the Senior Manager, Public Programs at the National Book Foundation. Before joining the Foundation, Natalie was the Manager of Los Angeles Programs at PEN America. She holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from UCLA, is a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookends committee member, and organizes with North Brooklyn Mutual Aid.


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