Two National Book Award Nominations, and a New Novel

These first few weeks of autumn have brought some exciting news to Southern New Hampshire University's MFA faculty. First of all, we’d like to congratulate to our newest faculty member, Angela Flournoy, whose debut novel, ‘The Turner House,’ has been long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award in Fiction. Also our affiliate faculty member Sy Montgomery, whose book ‘The Soul of an Octopus’ has been long-listed for the award in nonfiction. Angela and Sy are each one of ten finalists for the award in their respective categories.

Angela has also been nominated for The National Book Foundation's Five Under Thirty-Five award.

We’d also like to congratulate Chinelo Okparanta on the launch of her highly anticipated debut novel, 'Under the Udala Trees,' which came out this past Tuesday. The novel chronicles the story of two girls who fall in love against the backdrop of the Nigerian civil war. Chinelo was born in Nigeria and lived there until she came to the United States when she was ten. The Wall Street Journal says the novel ‘draws on the Nigerian folk tales from her childhood, and her family history.’ Kirkus calls Chinelo’s voice 'masterful.’

Acclaimed novelist Taiye Selasi, author of ‘Ghana Must Go,’ writes: ‘Under the Udala Trees interrogates constructions of womanhood, of nationhood, and of sexuality. In these elegant folds of restrained prose lies a searing condemnation: of violence, religion and patriarchy in modern day Nigeria. Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest, Under the Udala Trees is a triumph.’ Selasi joined Chinelo at the book launch event on Wednesday, September 23rd at Housing Works Bookstore Café in New York City at 7PM.