Thursday, November 18, 2021

Hungering for the Oates

I’m surprised to not be familiar with the Joyce Carol Oates Prize, which honors mid-career authors in fiction and carries with it $50,000 in prize money, but hey, I have never claimed to have limitless knowledge. In any case, the longlist of 37 nominees for the sixth annual, 2022 prize has been announced.

As In Reference to Murder notes, it contains “several [authors] who write crime and suspense fiction, including Megan Abbott (The Turnout), Dan Chaon (Sleepwalk), Jean Hanff Korelitz (The Plot),” and Jonathan Lethem, who—though he has penned crime fiction in the past (Motherless Brooklyn and Feral Detective)—is being considered for the Oates Prize based on his latest novel, an unconventional post-apocalyptic cautionary tale called The Arrest.

Expectations are that the finalists will be identified in early March 2022, with a winner to be named in April. Among previous recipients of this honor, sponsored by the New Literacy Project and named for prolific American novelist Joyce Carol Oates, are Laila Lalami (The Other Americans, 2019); Daniel Mason (The Winter Soldier, 2020); and Danielle Evans (The Office of Historical Corrections, 2021).

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