Tsitsi Dangarembga, Ayesha Harruna Attah, and Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah are on the shortlist for the Saroyan Prize 2020 announced on June 1, 2020.
William Saroyan (1908-1981), an American writer and playwright, is a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winner best known for his short stories about humorous experiences of immigrant families and children in California. The Saroyan Prize named for the writer is a biennial competition jointly awarded by the Stanford Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation. It commemorates the life, legacy and intentions of William Saroyan – author, artist, dramatist, composer – and is intended to encourage new or emerging writers, rather than to recognize established literary figures.
The 2020 judging panel for fiction consists of award-winning authors Sumbul Ali-Karamali, Elizabeth McKenzie and Patrick Hunt. The non-fiction panel includes author and 2005 Saroyan Prize winner, Mark Arax, author and 2016 Saroyan Prize winner Lori Jakiela, and Hank Saroyan, writer, performer, and nephew of William Saroyan. This panel unveiled the shortlist in the fiction category which is;
- Fiction Friday Black (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.
- Tonic and Balm (Shade Mountain Press, 2019) by Stephanie Allen.
- The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish (Two Dollar Radio, 2018) by Katya Apekina.
- The Hundred Wells of Salaga: A Novel (Other Press, 2019) by Ayesha Harruna Attah.
- This Mournable Body: A Novel (Graywolf Press, 2018) by Tsitsi Dangarembga.
- Some Trick (New Directions, 2019) by Helen DeWitt.
- Sabrina & Corina: Stories (One World, 2019) by Kali Fajardo-Anstine.
- My Old Faithful: Stories (University of Massachusetts Press, 2018) by Yang Huang.
- This Is Not a Love Song: Stories (Little, Brown and Company, 2019) by Brendan Mathews.
- Aerialists: Stories (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019) by Mark Mayer.
- Winter Kept Us Warm: A Novel (Counterpoint Press, 2019) by Anne Raeff.
- Once Removed: Stories (University of Georgia Press, 2019) by Colette Sartor.
- Carry You: Stories (Autumn House Press, 2018) by Glori Simmons.
- In West Mills: A Novel (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019) by De’Shawn Charles Winslow.
- The History of Living Forever: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) by Jake Wolff
Winners and finalists will be announced later in the year.