2018 Neustadt Prize Finalists Announced

September 5, 2017
by WLT

2018 Neustadt Prize Finalists

Nine nominees chosen for the $50,000 literature award known as “The American Nobel” 

NORMAN, Okla. – World Literature Today, the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning international literature and culture magazine, has announced the shortlist of finalists for the $50,000 2018 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. The prestigious Neustadt Prize recognizes significant contributions to the world of literature and has a history as a forerunner to the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The nominees (with representative texts noted) for the 2018 Neustadt International Prize for Literature are as follows:

  • Emmanuel Carrère: The Kingdom, France
  • Edwidge Danticat: The Dew Breaker, Haiti and US
  • Amitav Ghosh: Sea of Poppies, India
  • Aracelis Girmay: The Black Maria, US
  • Mohsin Hamid: The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Pakistan
  • Jamaica Kincaid: Potter, Antigua and US
  • Yusef Komunyakaa: Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems, US
  • Patricia Smith: Incendiary Art, US
  • Ludmila Ulitskaya: The Big Green Tent, Russia

Nine Neustadt jurors, all creative writers, chose the finalists, and they will meet to choose the winner at the 2017 Neustadt Festival of International Literature & Culture (November 8-10), hosted by World Literature Today and the University of Oklahoma. The winner will be announced on November 9.

“We are ecstatic to have such a diverse and powerful group of writers representing the Neustadt Prize this year,” shared R.C. Davis-Undiano, executive director of World Literature Today, which sponsors the prize. “Literature is a powerful voice that inspires, influences, and teaches us about the world beyond ourselves. This truly international slate of finalists – with diverse voices from the United States and as far away as Pakistan and Russia – reminds us that important literature knows no borders.”

The announcement of the winner will be made at a ceremony on Thursday, November 9, during the Neustadt Festival, which this year honors the 2017 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature laureate, Marilyn Nelson. Nelson is one of America’s foremost poets and essayists, whose works focus on civil rights and social justice issues. Festival events are free and open to the public.

The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is the first international literary award of this scope to originate in the United States and is one of the very few international prizes for which poets, novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights are equally eligible. Since 2003, it has been awarded every other year (alternating with the NSK Prize) to a living writer in recognition of significant literary achievement for a body of work. Notable past winners include Nobel Prize recipients Czesław Miłosz, Gabriel García Márquez, and Tomas Tranströmer. The 2016 Neustadt Prize winner was exiled Croatian author Dubravka Ugrešić.

Winners of the Neustadt Prize are awarded $50,000, a replica eagle feather cast in silver, a prize certificate, and a festival hosted in their honor. A generous endowment from the Neustadt family of Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Watertown, Massachusetts ensures the award in perpetuity.

To learn more about the Neustadt prizes or to see the full calendar of events as details become available, visit neustadtprize.org.