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Best Debut Short Stories 2021: The PEN America Dau Prize (Paperback)
The annual—and essential—collection of the newest voices in short fiction, selected this year by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, and Beth Piatote.
Who are the most promising short story writers working today? Where do we look to discover the future stars of literary fiction? This book will offer a dozen answers to these questions.
The stories collected here represent the most recent winners of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, which recognizes twelve writers who have made outstanding debuts in literary magazines in the previous year. They are chosen by a panel of distinguished judges, themselves innovators of the short story form: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, and Beth Piatote. Each piece comes with an introduction by its original editors, whose commentaries provide valuable insight into what magazines are looking for in their submissions, and showcase the vital work they do to nurture literature's newest voices.
About the Author
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is the New York Times-bestselling author of Friday Black. Originally from Spring Valley, New York, he graduated from SUNY Albany and went on to receive his MFA from Syracuse University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming from numerous publications, including The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, Literary Hub, The Paris Review, Guernica, and Longreads. He was selected by Colson Whitehead as one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" honorees, is the winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Award for Best First Book and the Aspen Words Literary Prize.
Kali Fajardo-Anstine is a National Book Award Finalist and the author of Sabrina & Corina, winner of an American Book Award, finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize and The Story Prize, and longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Sabrina & Corina was also awarded the 2020 Reading the West Award in Fiction from the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association and has been shortlisted for the 2020 Saroyan International Prize. Fajardo-Anstine is the 2019 recipient of the Denver Mayor's Award for Global Impact in the Arts. Her writing has appeared in ELLE, O, the Oprah Magazine, The American Scholar, Boston Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Idaho Review, Southwestern American Literature, and elsewhere. Kali has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Tin House, and Hedgebrook. She has an MFA from the University of Wyoming and is from Denver, Colorado. Her work has been translated into multiple languages.
Beth Piatote is a writer and scholar, and the author of The Beadworkers. She is Nez Perce from Chief Joseph's Band and is an enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes. She holds a PhD from Stanford University and is currently an associate professor at UC Berkeley. She lives in the Bay Area with her two children.
"A tantalizing glimpse of the work of tomorrow’s literary luminaries." —Poets & Writers