First Novelist Award
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Ninth Annual Award
Mathilda Savitch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
By Victor Lodato
Fear doesn't come naturally to Mathilda Savitch. She prefers to look right at the things nobody else can bear to mention: for example, the fact that her beloved older sister was pushed in front of a train by a man still on the loose. Her grief-stricken parents have basically been sleepwalking ever since, and it is Mathilda’s sworn mission to shock them back to life. Her strategy? Being bad.
"Part off-beat coming-of-age story and part suspense novel . . . Lodato skillfully, and often rather poetically, navigates the minefield of growing up" (Boston Globe).
Mathilda Savitch has been translated into eight languages and published in eleven countries. A poet, playwright, and novelist, Victor Lodato is the recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, as well as the Weissberger Award for his play "Motherhouse." He divides his time between Tucson and New York.
Judges: Lev Grossman (critic and author of The Magicians), Brian Henry (professor of creative writing at University of Richmond and poet), and Deb Olin Unferth (author of Vacation and recipient of the 2009 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award)
Finalists: Carolina De Robertis for The Invisible Mountain by (Alfred A. Knopf) and Vestal McIntyre for Lake Overturn (HarperCollins)