I am the absolute last person who needs this information so please, let me pass it on it on to you: The Center for Fiction has announced its longlist for the 2022 First Novel Prize.
The longlist is twenty-four books long, narrowed down from more than 140 titles that have been or will be published in 2022. That narrowing was done by nearly 100 volunteer readers made up of writers, booksellers, and librarians, along with staff and members of the Center for Fiction.
Five judges will choose a shortlist and eventually a winner. The names of those judges have not yet been released but we they will be “distinguished authors.” For reference, the authors that chose the 2021 winner (The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade) were: Alexander Chee, Susan Choi, Yaa Gyasi, Raven Leilani, and Dinaw Mengestu.
The books that make it to the shortlist will be announced on a TBD date in the fall, and the winner will be announced at The Center for Fiction Annual Awards Benefit on December 6th, 2022.
First awarded in 2006, the First Novel Prize honors — you guessed it — the best debut fiction of the year. The prize is $15,000 to the winner and $1,000 to each of the shortlisted titles. Recent winners include Luster: A Novel by Raven Leilani, In West Mills by De’Shawn Charles Winslow, and There There by Tommy Orange.
The 2022 longlisted books are:
- Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades
- When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar
- Nobody’s Magic by Destiny O. Birdsong
- The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
- Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen
- The Sign for Home by Blair Fell
- Shadows of Pecan Hollow by Caroline Frost
- Lungfish by Meghan Gilliss
- What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris
- Post-traumatic by Chantal V. Johnson
- NSFW by Isabel Kaplan
- Fire Season by Leyna Krow
- We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies by Tsering Yangzom Lama
- Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
- The Boy with a Bird in His Chest by Emme Lund
- Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
- If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga
- Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde
- The Candid Life of Meena Dave by Namrata Patel
- Border Less by Namrata Poddar
- Little Rabbit by Alyssa Songsiridej
- Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
- A Map for the Missing by Belinda Huijuan Tang
- The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara
Remember that most public libraries accept purchase requests. So if you see something you want to read and your library doesn’t have it yet, you can always ask.