With Deborah Treisman, fiction editor of The New Yorker
Readings by Chris Adrian, Daniel Alarcón, and Yiyun Li
Celebrating the release of
20 under 40: Stories from The New Yorker, published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux
In June 2010, the editors ofThe New Yorker announced to widespread media coverage their selection of "20 Under 40"—the young fiction writers who are, or will be, central to their generation. The magazine published twenty stories by this stellar group of writers over the course of the summer. They are now collected for the first time in one volume. The range of voices is extraordinary. There is the lyrical realism of Nell Freudenberger, Philipp Meyer, C. E. Morgan, and Salvatore Scibona; the satirical comedy of Joshua Ferris and Gary Shteyngart; and the genre-bending tales of Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, and Téa Obreht. David Bezmozgis and Dinaw Mengestu offer cleareyed portraits of immigration and identity; Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, ZZ Packer, and Wells Tower offer voice-driven, idiosyncratic narratives. Then there are the haunting sociopolitical stories of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Daniel Alarcón, and Yiyun Li, and the metaphysical fantasies of Chris Adrian, Rivka Galchen, and Karen Russell.
Each of these writers reminds us why we read. And each is aiming for greatness: fighting to get and to hold our attention in a culture that is flooded with words, sounds, and pictures; fighting to surprise, to entertain, to teach, and to move not only us but generations of readers to come. A landmark collection, 20 Under 40 stands as a testament to the vitality of fiction today.
Chris Adrian is the author of two novels, Gob's Grief and The Children's Hospital, and a collection of short stories, A Better Angel. FSG will publish his third novel, The Great Night, in May of 2011. He lives in San Francisco where he is a Fellow in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at UCSF.
Daniel Alarcón is the author of two books of stories, and the novel Lost City Radio, which won the 2009 International Literature Award. He lives in Oakland, California.
Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing, China, where between age 12 and 16 she was trained as a mathematics prodigy. In 1996, she came to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in immunology but left the field in 2000 to become a writer. Her books, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and The Vagrants, have won Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway award, Guardian First Book Award, and other awards. Her second story collection, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, came out in September 2010. She teaches at University of California, Davis.
Deborah Treisman has been the fiction editor of The New Yorker since 2003, and was deputy fiction editor for five years prior to that.