Ashley Wurzbacher, author of Happy Like This, released this fall from the University of Iowa Press, was named one of the 2019 National Book Award’s 5 Under 35 authors.
In 2006, the National Book Foundation established the 5 Under 35 prize to recognize young, debut fiction writers whose work promised to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape. 5 Under 35 Honorees are writers from around the world, younger than the age of 35, who have published their first and only book of fiction—either a short story collection or a novel—within the last five years. In addition to being recognized at an invite-only ceremony in New York in November, the honorees are presented with a $1,000 prize.
This is the second time in the 5 under 35 program history that an author of a UI Press book has been recognized.
In addition, Happy Like This was chosen as the winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award for 2018. The award is hosted and judged by the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and published by the UI Press. This year’s award was judged by Carmen Machado.
Wurzbacher’s writing also has appeared in the Iowa Review, Kenyon Review Online, Prairie Schooner, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and teaches creative writing at the University of Montevallo.