All eight of the books longlisted for the 2015 John Leonard Prize were written by women.

In 2013, the National Book Critics Circle announced the John Leonard Prize, which would be awarded to the best debut book of the year in any genre—fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. In its first two years in existence, the prize has only been awarded to novels, however: Anthony Marra won for A Constellation of Vital Phenomena in 2013 and Phil Klay won for the short story collection  Redeployment in 2014. This year’s longlist, which was just sent out to NBCC members, continues that tradition: all eight longlisted books are works of fiction and six of the eight are novels—Mia Alvar’s In the Country and Kirstin Valdez Quade’s Night of the Fiestas are the two short story collections. More notably, all eight were written by women. Alexandra Kleeman’s You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine and Angela Flournoy’s The Turner House strike me as the clear favorites, though the prizes given out by the NBCC are often difficult to predict. The full longlist is below. 

  • In the Country by Mia Alvar
  • The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
  • Mr. and Mrs. Doctor by Julie Iromuanya
  • The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson
  • You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman
  • The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus
  • Night of the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade
  • Landfalls by Naomi Williams

June 26, 2019

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Welcome to TNR’s coverage of the Democratic debates.

Yes, the debates are upon us, a mere 16 months before voters will cast their ballots to decide whether President Trump should get a second term. In that time, babies will be conceived and born, the earth will orbit the sun and then some, and Democrats will, with any luck, choose a champion from the two dozen candidates running for the nomination. It all begins tonight, with the first of two debates in Miami this week featuring the 20 candidates—ten each round—who qualified to participate by either polling at 1 percent in three surveys or receiving 65,000 individual donations.

The staff of The New Republic will be watching the proceedings, offering running commentary and post-debate analysis, and hopefully answering any questions readers might have. Who’s up, who’s down? Who, if anyone, seems qualified to stall America’s spiraling descent into a fiery wasteland overseen by Trumpian kleptocrats? And who is Eric Swalwell, anyway? Pop by TNR’s Minutes blog at 9 o’clock EST tonight and tomorrow night to find out!