First Novelist Award
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Fourth Annual Award
Harbor (Alfred A. Knopf)
By Lorraine Adams
"This debut novel by a Pulitzer-winning journalist tells the story of Aziz Arkoun, a twenty-four-year-old Arab Muslim from Algeria who enters America illegally by hiding for fifty-two days in the hold of a tanker and swims into Boston Harbor . . . Hopes for prosperity and safety are dashed: Aziz takes low-paying jobs, is beset by chaotic living conditions, and . . . gets caught up in the FBI investigation of an international terrorist cell. Adams displays a gift for detail and character that take us fully inside the complex system of survival, kinship, and religious ideology which form Aziz’s world" (The New Yorker).
Harbor was a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book, also selected as Entertainment Weekly's Fiction Book of the Year.
Lorraine Adams was educated at Princeton University and Columbia University. She was a staff writer for The Washington Post for eleven years and won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. In 2010, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship and published her second novel, The Room and the Chair, with Alfred A. Knopf.
Judges: John Beckman (author of The Winter Zoo), Michael Byers (author of Long for This World and recipient of the 2004 VCU First Novelist Award), and Jann Malone (writer for The Richmond Times-Dispatch)