The Center for Fiction has announced the five finalists for the $10,000 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.
The prize–once known as the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize–went to Hannah Tinti last year for her novel, “The Good Thief.” The Center was founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library (pictured). The 2009 finalists are: “American Rust” by Philipp Meyer from Spiegel & Grau; “The Cradle” by Patrick Somerville from Little, Brown and Co.; “Tinkers” by Paul Harding from Bellevue Literary Press; “The Vagrants” by Yiyun Lin from Random House; and “Woodsburner” by John Pipkin from Doubleday/Nan A. Talese.
Here’s more from the release: “Librarians, staff, and members of The Center first read submissions and the recommendations of these Common Readers, as they are called, are then forwarded to a committee of distinguished American writers. This committee selects the novels on the short list and the winner.”