Sargent Prize Announced

November 7, 2007

The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction‘s John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize was created by the Center as part of its mission to promote the art of fiction in the United States and is awarded to the best first novel. It carries with it a $10,000 cash award. It was created by the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction and supported by members of the Sargent family in recognition of John Sargent Sr.’s lifetime of reading and distinguished work as President and CEO of Doubleday and Company for many years.

The 2007 winner of the Prize is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss.

Other books on the shortlist were: Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon; Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski; Finn by Jon Clinch; The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander; Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman and Bearing the Body by Ehud Havazelet.