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WORD: National Book Foundation announces '5 under 35'
Edited Press Release

The National Book Foundation will recognize five young fiction writers at the "5 Under 35" celebration at Tribeca Cinemas on Monday, November 17, announced Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation. He noted that three of this year's young honorees were born outside the United States. A previous National Book Award Finalist or Winner selected each of the five writers as someone whose work is particularly promising, exciting and is among the best of a new generation of writers.

The 2008 "5 Under 35" are:

Matthew Eck, The Farther Shore (Milkweed Editions, 2007)
Selected by Joshua Ferris, 2007 Fiction Finalist for Then We Came to the End

Keith Gessen, All the Sad Young Literary Men (Viking Press, 2008)
Selected by Jonathan Franzen, 2001 Fiction Winner for The Corrections

Sana Krasikov, One More Year:  Stories (Spiegel & Grau, 2008)
Selected by Francine Prose, 2000 Fiction Finalist for Blue Angel

Nam Le, The Boat (Knopf, 2008)
Selected by Mary Gaitskill, 2005 Fiction Finalist for Veronica

Fiona Maazel, Last Last Chance (FSG, 2008)
Selected by Jim Shepard, 2007 Finalist for Like You'd Understand, Anyway

In just three short years, the "5 Under 35" celebration has become the highly-anticipated kick-off event for National Book Awards week. That evening, each writer will be introduced by the writer who selected them and will read an excerpt from their most recent book to an audience of their peers: young writers, editors, publishers, agents, journalists and bloggers.

This year's emcee is Dean Wareham, former lead singer of the bands Galaxie 500 and Luna and now a published memoirist. The evening's D.J. will be quintessential rock writer Chuck Klosterman in a switch in roles: the writer on rock becomes the rocker and the rocker who writes introduces the writers.

"5 Under 35 is a celebration of bright new voices and we look forward to kicking off National Book Awards Week with a bang," said Augenbraum in a press release.

5 Under 35 Honoree biographies

Matthew Eck enlisted in the Army in 1992 and served in Somalia and Haiti. After leaving the service, he earned a BA in English Literature from Wichita State University and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri and The Farther Shore is his first novel.

Keith Gessen was born in Russia and currently lives in Brooklyn. He was educated at Harvard and Syracuse. He is a founder of the magazine n+1 and translator of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Voices from Chernobyl. His work has also appeared in the Dissent, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books. All the Sad Young Literary Men is his first book.

Sana Krasikov was born in the Ukraine and grew up in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and in the United States. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is the recipient of an O. Henry Award and a Fulbright Scholarship. She lives in New York City and is at work on her first novel.

Nam Le was born in Vietnam and raised in Australia. After working in the law, he came to America to attend the Iowa Writers' Workshop as a Truman Capote Fellow. He has also received fellowships from the Michener-Copernicus Society of America, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and Phillips Exeter Academy. His fiction has won the Pushcart Prize and appeared in venues including Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007, Zoetrope: All-Story, A Public Space, and One Story. He is currently the fiction editor of the Harvard Review. He divides his time between Australia and the United States. The Boat is his fiction debut.

Fiona Maazel is a writer and freelance editor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Anthem, Bomb, The Boston Book Review, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Mississippi Review, Pierogi Press, Salon.com, Tin House, The Village Voice, and The Yale Review. In 2005, she was the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Last Last Chance is her first novel.

Dean Wareham was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and immigrated to New York City as a teenager in 1977. He has recorded sixteen albums and was a founding member of two indie rock bands: Galaxie 500 and Luna. Early this year Penguin Press published his book Black Postcards, which is both a personal memoir and an inside look at the last twenty years of the music scene.

Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of Downtown Owl; Chuck Klosterman IV; Killing Yourself to Live; Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; and Fargo Rock City, winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He is a featured columnist for Esquire, a contributor to The New York Times Magazine, and has also written for Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, and ESPN. In 2008, he was the Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig's Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany. Klosterman lives in New York.


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