First Novelist Award
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Thirteenth Annual Award
The Golem and the Jinni (HarperCollins)
By Helene Wecker
Chava, a mythical golem, arrives in turn-of-the-century New York City without a master or purpose, while elsewhere in the city, Ahmad, a jinni, is released from his long sleep inside a flask and made to serve as apprentice to a tinsmith. In this bustling metropolis far from their original countries and cultures, both Chava and Ahmad make their way, until one night when they happen to meet. The relationship that develops between them will either save them or be their undoing.
The Golem and the Jinni, a New York Times best seller, has been named for several awards, including the Nebula Award for "Best Novel" from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and two Goodreads Choice Awards, "Best Debut Goodreads Author" and "Best Fantasy." Entertainment Weekly calls the novel "An intoxicating fusion of fantasy and historical fiction...Wecker's storytelling skills dazzle...The book's magic, filtered through the old-time hustle and bustle of the Lower East Side, lingers long after the final page."
Helene Wecker grew up in suburban Chicago and received her bachelor's degree in English from Carleton College in Minnesota. After college, she spent a number of years in marketing and communications before returning to her first love, fiction writing. In 2007 she received her master's degree in fiction from Columbia University. Her fiction has appeared in Catamaran and the online magazine Joyland. She has read from her stories at the KGB Bar in Manhattan and the Barbershop Reading Series in San Francisco. After a dozen years spent moving around between both coasts and the Midwest, she is finally putting down roots in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
Judges: Ramona Ausubel (author of No One Is Here Except All of Us and recipient of the 2013 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award), Bryan D. Dietrich (author of six poetry collections, most recently The Monstrance), and Robin Oliveira (critic and author of the novels I Always Loved You and My Name Is Mary Sutter)
Finalists: Paul Yoon for Snow Hunters (Simon & Schuster) and Claudia Zuluaga for Fort Starlight (Engine Books)
The Golem and the Jinni