The Simpson Literary Project has unveiled the shortlist for its annual Joyce Carol Oates Prize, with Rebecca Makkai, Peter Orner, and Kevin Wilson among the seven finalists.
The award, first given in 2017, is meant to honor “a distinguished mid-career author of fiction.” It comes with a cash prize of $50,000 and a residence at the University of California, Berkeley.
Makkai made the shortlist for her critically acclaimed The Great Believers, which was previously a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. A reviewer for Kirkus called the novel “as compulsively readable as it is thoughtful and moving.”
Chris Bachelder’s The Throwback Special, also a National Book Award finalist, made the shortlist, along with Maria Dahvana Headley for The Mere Wife, Daniel Mason for The Winter Soldier, and Dexter Palmer for Mary Toft; or The Rabbit Queen.
The winner of this year’s award will be announced later this month.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.