90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Top Young Fiction Writers

The New Yorker names its top writers under 40. Three talk to us.

From left: Joshua Ferris, Yiyun Li, Nell Freudenberger (Credits: author Websites; Freudenberg picture by Marion Ettinger)

How do you pick the very best young fiction writers in North America? Not easy. 

The New Yorker magazine did it last week, naming twenty under age 40 as the best of the best, for a mastery of language and storytelling and – beyond that – “a palpable sense of ambition.” 

We have three of the twenty with us today. Joshua Ferris. Yiyun Li. Nell Freudenberger. And we’ve got questions. 

Are they looking to step into the shoes of big writers just gone? Mailer? Updike? J.D. Salinger? Or are they looking to make new shoes?  Like what? 

This Hour, On Point: top writers of literary fiction under 40.

Guests:

Joshua Ferris, 35, is an American writer and author of “Then We Came To the End” and “The Unnamed.” Read an excerpt from “The Unnamed.”

Yiyun Li, 37, is a Chinese-American writer and assistant professor of English at the University of California – Davis. She’s author of “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers” and “The Vagrants.” Read an excerpt from “The Vagrants.”

Nell Freudenberger, 35, is an American writer and author of “Lucky Girls” and “The Dissident.” Read an excerpt from “The Dissident” (go to the Table of Contents and scroll to Chapters).

More:

Check out the full New Yorker list of the top 20 fiction writers under 40. And read the New York Times’ Sam Tanenhaus’ critique of the premise of the New Yorker list.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

 
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

More »
Comment
 
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments