Annual Bard Fiction Prize Is Awarded to Zain Khalid
The Bard Fiction Prize committee writes: “Zain Khalid’s novel Brother Alive is itself alive, made of language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree, with at least three valances of narrative draped one on top of another. First is a deeply personal novel about three adopted brothers of mysterious origins growing up in a Staten Island mosque under the care of its eccentric Imam, inhabiting an ordinary world precisely observed and rendered extraordinary with kaleidoscopic language, training its lens on a ride on the back of a motorcycle or a pickup basketball game and turning and turning, changing the patterns of image and sensation, radiating universes of detail. Another is a wild, satirical work of science fiction involving a sinister experimental gas central to the three brothers’ mysteries, which brings them from Staten Island to the Middle East as the book’s politics globalize into ruminations on Islam’s clashes and compacts with the West. And the third is the narrator Youssef’s invisible other “brother” who gives the text its title, the symbiotic shadow-consciousness that lives in his mind and feeds on literature, frequently pointing the reader directly to the author’s influences, as Brother Alive is a novel that knows all literature is about literature, and isn’t afraid to embrace it.”
“I’m honored and grateful to be the recipient of the 2024 Bard Fiction Prize. I’ve long admired the prize’s previous winners, luminaries, really, and am stunned to be joining their ranks,” said Khalid. “To work on my novel alongside Bard’s brilliant literary community is a truly awesome endowment.”
Zain Khalid is an American writer and novelist, originally from New York. His debut novel, Brother Alive, won the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and the CLMP Firecracker Award in Fiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for best first book in any genre, and was shortlisted for the Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction.
The creation of the Bard Fiction Prize, presented each October since 2001, continues Bard’s long-standing position as a center for creative, groundbreaking literary work by both faculty and students. From Saul Bellow, William Gaddis, Mary McCarthy, and Ralph Ellison to John Ashbery, Philip Roth, William Weaver, and Chinua Achebe, Bard’s literature faculty, past and present, represents some of the most important writers of our time. The prize is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction, and provide them with an opportunity to work in a fertile intellectual environment. The 2023 Bard Fiction Prize was awarded to Violet Kupersmith for her novel, Build Your House Around My Body (Random House 2021).
About the Bard Fiction Prize
The Bard Fiction Prize is awarded to a promising emerging writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. In addition to a $30,000 cash award, the winner receives an appointment as writer in residence at Bard College for one semester, without the expectation that he or she teach traditional courses. The recipient gives at least one public lecture and meets informally with students. To apply, candidates should write a cover letter explaining the project they plan to work on while at Bard and submit a CV, along with three copies of the published book they feel best represents their work. No manuscripts will be accepted. Applications for the 2025 prize must be received by June 1, 2024. For information about the Bard Fiction Prize, call 845-758-7087, send an e-mail to [email protected], or visit bard.edu/bfp. Applicants may also request information by writing to: Bard Fiction Prize, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 163-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
Post Date: 09-26-2023