First Novel Prize

The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, known as the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize until 2015, is awarded to the best debut novel of the year. The Prize was originally established in 2005 as the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize. The Center for Fiction board member and well-known non-fiction author, Nancy Dunnan, now funds The Center’s First Novel Prize. It is officially called the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, named after Nancy’s journalist father, Ray W. Flaherty (description from The Center of Fiction.)

2020 Long List
  • The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna
  • Antkind by Charlie Kaufman
  • August  by Callan Wink
  • The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah
  • Bestiary by K-Ming Chang
  • Conjure Women by Afia Atakora
  • Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford
  • Godshot by Chelsea Bieker
  • The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
  • How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang
  • The Illness Lesson by Clare Beams
  • Indelicacy by Amina Cain
  • Kept Animals by Kate Milliken
  • Luster by Raven Leilani (5 stars)
  • Memorial by Bryan Washington
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (4 stars)
  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor
  • The Redshirt by Corey Sobel
  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
  • Shuggie Bainby Douglas Stuart
  • Temporary by Hilary Leichter
  • These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card
  • Things You Would Know if You Grew Up Around Here by Nancy Wayson Dinan
  • True Story by Kate Reed Petty (5 stars)
  • Under the Rainbow by Celia Laskey
  • Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore (5 stars)
  • White Ivy by Susie Yang
2019 Winner
  • In West Mills by De'Shawn Charles Winslow
2019 Short List
  • American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
  • Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad
  • Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (4 stars)
  • Fall Back Down When I Die by Joe Wilkins
  • On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin
2019 Long List
  • The Affairs of the Falcons by Melissa Rivero
  • The Bobcat by Katherine Forbes Riley
  • The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
  • The Falconer by Dana Czapnik
  • The Farm by Joanne Ramos
  • Goodnight Stranger by Miciah Bay Gault
  • The History of Living Forever by Jake Wolff
  • The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz
  • The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo (5 stars)
  • The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell
  • Oval by Elvia Wilk
  • The Paper Wasp by Lauren Acampora
  • A Particular Kind of Black Man by Tope Folarin
  • A Prayer for Travelers by Ruchika Tomar
  • A People's History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian
  • Riots I Have Known by Ryan Chapman
  • Tears of the Trufflepig by Fernandos A. Flores
  • Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton
  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
2018 Winner
  • There There by Tommy Orange
2018 Short List
  • Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
  • Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg
  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
  • The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat
  • Pretend I'm Dead by Jen Beagin
  • Trenton Makes by Tradzio Koelb (3.5 stars)
2018 Long List
  • America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
  • Brass by Xhenet Aliu
  • The Devoted by Blair Hurley
  • The Distance Home by Paula Saunders
  • Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
  • The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling (4.5 stars)
  • If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
  • Inappropriation by Lexi Freiman
  • Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
  • The Pisces by Melissa Broder
  • A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
  • Restless Souls by Dan Sheehan
  • Sabrina by Nick Drnaso (3 stars)
  • Sadness is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher
  • Self-Portrait with Boy by Rachel Lyon
  • Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik
  • What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan
  • Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith
  • This Wonder That Was Ours by Alice Hatcher
2017 Winner
  • Mikhail and Margarita by Julie Lekstrom Himes
2017 Short List
  • As Lie Is to Grin by Simeon Marsalis (4 stars)
  • Empire of Glass by Kaitlin Solimine
  • The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
  • Spacemen of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar
  • Tiger Pelt by Annabelle Kim
  • What to Do About the Solomons by Bethany Bell
2017 Long List
  • All That's Left to Tell by Daniel Lowe
  • Everything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz
  • Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (3 stars)
  • The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico (4 stars)
  • Marlena by Julie Buntin (4.5 stars)
  • Motherest by Kristen Iskandrian
  • Murder on the Red River by Marcie R. Rendon
  • My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
  • Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett
  • Spoils by Brian Van Reet
  • Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan
  • Time's a Thief by B.G. Firmani
  • Who Is Rich? by Matthew Klam
  • The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews
2016 Winner
  • The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter by Kia Corthron
2016 Short List
  • The Girls by Emma Cline
  • Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • How I Became a North Korean by Krys Lee
  • We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge (4 stars)
  • What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell (3.5 stars)
2016 Long List
  • The Alaskan Laundry by Brendan Jones
  • All Joe Knight by Kevin Morris
  • Another Place You've Never Been by Rebecca Kauffman
  • As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner
  • Dodgers by Bill Beverly (5 stars)
  • Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson (4 stars)
  • Hurt People by Cote Smith
  • The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni
  • The Longest Night by Andria Williams
  • The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay
  • The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
  • Shelter by Jung Yun
  • Stork Mountain by Miroslav Penkov
  • Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser
  • Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings by Stephen O'Connor
  • Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss (4.5 stars)
  • Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves
  • Wreck and Order by Hannah Tennant-Moore
2015 Winner
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
2015 Short List
  • After the Parade by Lori Ostlund
  • Against the Country by Ben Metcalf
  • Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam
  • The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma
  • The Turner House by Angela Flournoy (4 stars)
  • The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus
2015 Long List
  • The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
  • Black River by S.M. Hulse
  • City on Fire by Garth RIsk Hallberg
  • Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Find Me by Laura Van Den Berg
  • The First Bad Man by Miranda July
  • Girl at War by Sara Novic (5 stars)
  • The Girl from the Garden by Parnaz Forouton
  • Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
  • The Heart of the Order by Theo Schell-Lambert
  • The Hopeful by Tracy O'Neill (4.5 stars)
  • I'd Walk With My Friends If I Could Find Them by Jesse Goolsby
  • Landfalls by Naomi J. Williams
  • The Language of Paradise by Barbara Klein Moss
  • Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet
  • Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian
  • She Weeps Each Time You're Born by Quan Barry
  • The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson
  • The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein
  • The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella
  • Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
  • You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman
2014 Winner
  • Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique
2014 Short List
  • The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
  • Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
  • The Great Glass Sea by Josh Weil
  • The Invention of Exile by Vanessa Manko
  • The Land of Steady Habits by Ted Thompson
  • We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
2014 Long List
  • The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Krug Benjamin
  • An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (4.5 stars)
  • Byrd by Kim Church 
  • Cementville by Paulette Livers
  • The End of Always by Randi Davenport
  • For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu 
  • The Girls from Corona Del Mar by Rufi Thorpe 
  • The Kept by James Scott 
  • Life Drawing by Robin Black 
  • Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah 
  • Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston 
  • Ruby by Cynthia Bond
  • Saint Monkey by Jacinda Townsend
  • Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler 
  • The Sixteenth of June by Maya Lang
  • The Visionist by Rachel Urquhart 
  • What Ends by Andrew Ladd 
  • The Word Exchange by Alena Gradeon 
  • Young God by Katherine Faw Morris 
2013 Winner
  • Wash by Margaret Wrinkle
2013 Short List
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
  • Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter (4 stars)
  • Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
  • The Morels by Christopher Hacker
  • Motherlunge by Kirstin Scott
  • The Residue Years by Mitchell Jackson
  • Y by Marjorie Celona
2013 Long List
  • Any Resemblance to Actual Persons by Kevin Allardice
  • The Blood of Heaven by Kent Wascom
  • The Carriage House by Louisa Hall
  • Elders by Ryan McIlvain
  • In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell
  • The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones
  • The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski
  • Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng
  • Tampa by Alissa Nutting (5 stars)
  • A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri
  • The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma
  • Wise Men by Stuart Nadler
  • The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
  • You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt
2012 Winner
2012 Short List
  • Absolution by Patrick Flanery
  • Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
  • The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
  • Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
  • Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead (4.5 stars)
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (4.5 stars)
2011 Winner
  • Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam (5 stars)
2011 Short List
  • Caribou Island by David Vann
  • Daughters of the Revolution by Carolyn Cooke
  • The History of History by Ida Hattemer-Higgins
  • Shards by Ismet Prcic
  • The Sweet Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstein (5 stars)
  • Touch by Alexi Zentner
2010 Winner
  • Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
2010 Short List
  • Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste
  • The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (4.5 stars)
  • Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross
  • The Quickening by Michelle Hoover (4 stars)
  • The Report by Jessica Francis Kane
  • This Is Just Exactly Like You by Drew Perry Viking
2009 Winner
  • Woodsburner by John Pipkin
2009 Short List
  • American Rust by Philipp Meyer
  • The Cradle by Patrick Somerville
  • Tinkers by Paul Harding (4.5 stars)
  • The Vagrants by Yiyun Li
2008 Winner
  • The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
2008 Short List
  • The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block
  • Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen
  • Dervishes by Beth Helms
  • Songs for the Butcher's Daughter by Peter Manseau
  • Personal Days by Ed Park
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (5 stars)
Before 2008, the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize was known as The John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize

2007 Winner
2007 Short List
  • Bearing the Body by Ehud Havazelet
  • Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski
  • Finn by Jon Clinch
  • Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon
  • The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
2006 Winner
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
2006 Short List
  • The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo by Peter Orner
  • The Dissident by Nell Freudenberger
  • Cellophane by Marie Arana
  • Send Me by Patrick Ryan


Popular posts from this blog

book review: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

book review: Run by Ann Patchett

The Backlist Book Club: The Clan of the Cave Bear discussion