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The New Yorker's 20 novelists under 40

June 2, 2010 |  5:03 pm

Yiyunli_2009

Next week, the New Yorker will publish its 20 Under 40 fiction list. Today the New York Times has the list, which includes California residents Yiyun Li, Daniel Alarcon, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum and Salvatore Scibona. At least, I think Scibona still lives here -- I once ran into him at the bank, and I assume he might be around any L.A. corner.

The list, by age:

Téa Obreht, 24
Karen Russell, 28
Dinaw Mengestu, 31
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 32
Daniel Alarcón, 33
C.E. Morgan, 33
Jonathan Safran Foer, 33
Rivka Galchen, 34
Joshua Ferris, 35
Nell Freudenberger, 35
Nicole Krauss, 35
Salvatore Scibona, 35
Philipp Meyer, 36
David Bezmozgis, 37
Yiyun Li, 37
ZZ Packer, 37
Gary Shteyngart, 37
Wells Tower, 37
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, 38
Chris Adrian, 39

Jonathan Safran Foer was an acknowledged frontrunner when the Observer published its preview of the list last month. The 33-year-old has published two novels and one work of nonfiction, won awards, had a movie made of one of his books and published short fiction and criticism. Just about the only thing he doesn't do is Tweet.

Among Foer's many accolades was making the Granta's 2007 Best Young American Writers list. Seven others on this list also first appeared on that one, including Yiyun Li, whose first novel, "The Vagrants" was based on an incident in China in 1979. "It's hard to make this world real," she told the L.A. Times. "It's so foreign to most of my readers."

In the coming weeks, the New Yorker will publish short fiction by all of the writers on its list.

-- Carolyn Kellogg
twitter.com/paperhaus

Photo: Yiyun Li in 2009. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times


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