Writers' Workshop grads on National Book Award fiction longlist

The New Yorker announced the National Book Awards longlist, which includes Iowa Writers' Workshop graduates Angela Flournoy, Karen Bender, and T. Geronimo Johnson. They are among the authors on the National Book Awards longlist for fiction.

The National Book Foundation announced its longlist for the 2015 Award in Fiction, and three of the ten books selected were written by Writers' Workshop alumni:Refund, by Karen Bender, The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy, and Welcome to Braggsville, by T. Geronimo Johnson. 

Refund, Karen E. Bender 

Karen E. Bender is the author of the story collection, Refund, and two novels, A Town of Empty Rooms, and Like Normal People. In their citation, the award judges observed that these are "stories that deeply explore the ways in which money and the estimation of value affect the lives of her characters. The stories in Refund reflect our contemporary world-swindlers, reality show creators, desperate artists, siblings, parents—who try to answer the question: What is the real definition of worth? "

National Book Award for Fiction Longlist: Refund, by Karen Bender

The Turner House, Angela Flournoy

Angela Flournoy is a 2011 graduate of the Writers' Workshop, and her novel, The Turner House, is her fiction debut.  In their citation, the judges wrote that the book is " a major new contribution to the story of the American family . . . The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home."

National Book Award Longlist: The Turner House, Angela Flournoy

Welcome to Braggsville, T. Geronimo Johnson

Welcome to Braggsville is PEN/Faulkner finalist T. Geronimo Johnson's second book, after the critically-acclaimed novel, Hold it 'Til it Hurts. A recent graduate of the Workshop, Johnson also taught as a visiting faculty member in 2014-2015.

The National Book Award judges described Welcome to Braggsville as "a dark and socially provocative southern-fried comedy . . . a fierce, funny, tragic work from a bold new writer."

National Book Award Longlist: Welcome to Braggsville, T. Geronimo Johnson

Congratulations to Karen Bender, Angela Flournoy, and T. Geronimo Johnson, and to all of the many fine writers honored by the National Book Foundation this year. 

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