Ten happy writers have received 2008 Whiting Writers’ Awards–and checks for $50,000. They are recognized for “exceptional talent and promise in early career,” and they are listed below. (Because some of them don’t yet have books to link to, I’ve just reproduced the copy from the press release, adding links to the books we’ve reviewed.)
Mischa Berlinski, fiction. His first novel, Fieldwork, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. He is at work on a second novel and living in Haiti.
Rick Hilles, poetry. His first collection, Brother Salvage, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. He is an assistant professor in the MFA Program at Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Donovan Hohn, nonfiction. His essays have appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Agni, The Bedford Reader, and Internazionale. His first book will be published by Viking in 2010.
Douglas Kearney, poetry. He is the author of Fear, Some (Red Hen Press, 2006) and the forthcoming collection, The Black Automaton, which will be published by Fence Books in 2009. He has an MFA in writing from the California Institute of the Arts, where he now teaches.
Laleh Khadivi, fiction. Her first book, The Age of Orphans, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2009. She is currently the fiction fellow at Emory University in Atlanta.
Manuel Muñoz, fiction. He is the author of two collections of short stories, Zigzagger (Northwestern University Press, 2003) and The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue (Algonquin Books, 2007). He lives in Tucson, where he is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona.
Dael Orlandersmith, plays. Her plays include Yellowman, The Gimmick and her Obie-Award winning Beauty’s Daughter, in which she also starred. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence College and is at work on a memoir.
Benjamin Percy, fiction. He is the author of two short story collections, The Language of Elk (Carnegie Mellon, 2006) and Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf, 2008). He teaches in the MFA program at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
Julie Sheehan, poetry. She is the author of two collections of poems, Thaw (Fordham University Press, 2001), and Orient Point (Norton, 2006). She teaches in the graduate Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton and lives in East Quogue, New York.
Lysley Tenorio, fiction. He has recently completed a collection of short stories and is working on a novel. He lives in San Francisco and teaches at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
In her review of Refresh, Refresh, Joanne Wilkinson called Percy “a writer to watch.” Indeed.