Writer Emily Barton has been selected to receive the annual Bard Fiction Prize, it was announced today. The prize, established last year by Bard College to encourage and support promising young fiction writers, consists of a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester. Barton will be writer-in-residence at Bard College for the spring 2003 semester.
Adventurous, original, intelligent, and thematically provocative, Emily Bartonís first novel, The Testament of Yves Gundron, combines all the characteristics one looks for in a promising young writer," stated the judges in announcing the selection. "With prodigious self-confidence, she has invented in this work a thoroughly convincing mythic parallel universe. Far from the usual autobiographical first novel, Barton has set for herself a much more difficult challenge—to try, through the medium of fiction, to pose for her readers the largest possible questions about what it means to be alive in a world that craves progress at any cost."
Emily Barton was raised in New Jersey and earned a B.A. degree in English literature from Harvard and an M.F.A. in creative writing/fiction from the University of Iowa. Her short fiction has appeared in Story and American Short Fiction, and her book reviews appear regularly in The New York Times Book Review and Bookforum. Her first novel, The Testament of Yves Gundron (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2000), was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and was nominated for the Guardian Fiction Prize. She resides in Brooklyn, where the novel on which she is presently working is set.