Five Columbia University School of the Arts Writing Program faculty and alumni were chosen as The New Yorker magazine's '20 Under 40' fiction writers worth watching, representing one-quarter of the list.
Work by eight of the selected twenty writers will appear in the double fiction issue of the magazine that arrives on newsstands June 7. Work by the remaining twelve writers will be published in the magazine throughout the summer.
The New Yorker last published such a list in 1999.
The faculty and alumni selected for the list are:
Rivka Galchen ('06SOA and Adjunct Faculty)
Dinaw Mengestu ('05SOA)
Karen Russell ('06SOA and Adjunct Faculty)
Gary Shteyngart (Faculty)
Wells Tower ('02SOA and Adjunct Faculty)
Galchen's debut book Atmospheric Disturbances: A Novel was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in June 2008. The book was selected as one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2008, a Salon.com Top Ten Book of the Year, and a Slate Best Book of the Year. Galchen was a finalist for The New York Public Library's 2009 Young Lions Fiction Award and the 2008 Mercantile Library Center for Fiction's John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize. She is currently a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library.
Mengestu's debut novel The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Penguin Riverhead, 2007) has been translated into 12 languages. It was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2007, and received the 2007 Prix du Premier Meilleur Roman Etranger, 2007 Guardian First Book Award, and 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Mengestu also received a 2007 Lannan Literary Fellowship, and was named one of the National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35.'
Russell's collection of stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Knopf, 2006), was named a Best Book of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times; in 2007 Russell was included in Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. She is also a 2009-10 Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library.
Shteyngart is the author of the novels Absurdistan (Random House, 2006), The Russian Debutante's Handbook (Riverhead, 2003), and the forthcoming Super Sad True Love Story (Random House, July 2010). Absurdistan was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review and Time magazine, as well as a book of the year by The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. The Russian Debutante's Handbook won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and was named a New York Times Notable Book and one of the best debuts of the year by The Guardian (UK). His work has been translated into twenty languages.
Wells Tower's debut book of stories, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009) was reviewed on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, selected for the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2009 list, and was a finalist for 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is the recipient of The Paris Review Discovery Prize, a Pushcart Prize and a Henfield Foundation award.
New York Times article about the list