The other finalists were: British poet Caroline Bird, South African novelist Ceridwen Dovey, British novelist Edward Hogan, and Ethiopia-born U.S. novelist Dinaw Mengestu. At 29, Vietnam-born, Australia-raised, Iowa Writers' Workshop educated Le squeaked by just under the age limit. At today's exchange rate, the prize comes to roughly $92,000.
From our partisan point of view, it's nice to see a short story writer win an award that's also open to novelists and poets. And by the way, on Nov. 17 Nam Le will be participating in the 5 Under 35 reading in New York as part of National Book Awards week. So far his youth seems to be serving him well.