Several Columbians Named to Granta List of Best Young Novelists

May 4, 2017

The literary magazine Granta has published its decennial list of the best young American novelists. The list, which includes 21 fiction writers under the age of 40, among them, five Columbia affiliates—alumni Jesse Ball '04, Emma Cline ’13, Dinaw Mengestu '05, and Mark Doten '10 who is also an adjunct professor and adjunct professor, Joshua Cohen.

All five have recently published books to great acclaim. Jesse Ball’s most recent novel, How to Set a Fire and Why(2016), drew comparisons to the work of Kazuo Ishiguro and Margaret Atwood; Emma Cline’s The Girls (2016) was named one of the best books of the year by numerous publications; and Dinaw Mengestu’s All Our Names was named one of the best books of 2014 by the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, the Boston Globe, and the Christian Science Monitor; Mark Doten’s The Infernal(2015) was praised by numerous publications, including The New York Times, whose reviewer called it “the most audaciously imaginative political novel I’ve ever read”; and Joshua Cohen’s Book of Numbers, which was named one of the best books of 2015 by Vulture, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal.

Granta’s list is one of the most cited in the industry. The last time it was published, in 2007, it included such authors as Jonathan Safran Foer; alumna Karen Russell '06; and Gary Shteyngart, an associate professor in the Writing Program.