Shortlist For The Flaherty Dunnan First Novel Prize Announced

August 23, 2012

The Center For Fiction, located in New York City, is the only nonprofit in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating fiction, working every day to connect readers and writers. The Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize is awarded to the best debut novel of the year. The author of the winning book receives $10,000 and the other shortlisted authors receive $1,000 each. The award is given annually at The Center for Fiction’s Benefit and Awards Dinner held in December.

Eligibility requirements for submissions for the 2012 Award include:

Authors must be first-time novelists who are American citizens or permanent residents;

Only full-length first novels written in English are eligible.  Novellas, collections of short stories, whether related or unrelated, and YA novels are NOT eligible.

Books must be published for the first time in the United States between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 and cannot have been previously published elsewhere.

Self-published books and eBook only editions are NOT eligible.

The selection of the shortlist and winning novel is determined through a two-tiered process. Sixty-five members of the American Booksellers Association act as first-tier readers, along with a few members of the Center’s network of booklovers, which includes writers, librarians, staff, and members and friends of The Center for Fiction. The long list recommended by these readers is then forwarded to a committee of distinguished American writers. From those recommended novels, the panel of judges chooses the shortlist and the winner.

The shortlisted debut novels for 2012 are:

Absolution by Patrick Flanery
In modern-day South Africa, Clare Walde tells the story of her sister’s death and the disappearance of her daughter during apartheid twenty years earlier.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
A satire set in Texas during America’s war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive “Victory Tour” at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Surviving a pandemic disease that has killed everyone he knows, a pilot establishes a shelter in an abandoned airport hangar before hearing a random radio transmission that compels him to risk his life to seek out other survivors. A first novel by the author of The Whale Warriors

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
Obsessively following the edicts of the Girl Scouts Handbook in spite of her lack of a troop, young Rory longs to escape the Reno trailer park where she lives with her bartender mother, an effort marked by her fastidious collection of diaries, social worker reports and other family records.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own.

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
In the midst of a bloody battle in the Iraq War, two soldiers, bound together since basic training, do everything to protect each other from both outside enemies and the internal struggles that come from constant danger.

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
Possessing a Harvard education and all of the accoutrements of a privileged life, Winn Van Meter attends the wedding of his eldest daughter, which is marked by the bride’s advancing pregnancy, her sister’s broken heart, and the seductive machinations of wedding party members.

Alif The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
Forced underground when his ex-lover’s new fiancGe breaches his computer, putting him and his clients in jeopardy, young Arab-Indian hacker Alif discovers the secret book of the jinn and uses its insights to enable life-threatening developments in information technology.