The "35 Over 35" Award Is Celebrating A Different Kind Of Author

Everyone knows about the 5 Under 35, but have you heard of the 35 Over 35? Since 2014, the annual 35 Over 35 list has drawn attention to nearly three dozen writers, all older than 35, who published their debut works in that year. The fifth annual 35 Over 35 celebrates a laundry list of diverse authors of new fiction and nonfiction, and I've got the full list for you to check out below.

Every year, the National Book Foundation recognizes five un-nominated authors who published debut works of fiction in the previous year, and are not older than 35 at the time of publication. Because 35 Over 35 founders Kera Yonker, Sarah Russo, and Charlie Orr believe that "publishing a book deserves celebration at any stage of one's career," they established their award in response to the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35. Thankfully, there's room for both honors in the literary world.

In a Monday press release, Yonker said: "It is a long road to publication for most writers, and this list serves to celebrate their perseverance and to encourage the rest of us who are still counting our rejections."

The 35 Over 35 for 2018 are:

Here's a closer look at five of this year's 35 Over 35.

'Everything Here Is Beautiful' by Mira T. Lee

In Everything Here Is Beautiful, two Chinese-American sisters reunite when mental illness threatens to destroy their family, but older sister Jie cannot rescue her younger sister, Lucia, without her cooperation.

'There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia' by Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno

In this true-crime story, three ordinary Colombian citizens — an activist, a prosecutor, and a journalist — put their lives on the line to expose the ties between their country's government and its underground criminal organizations.

'First Comes Marriage' by Huda Al-Marashi

Huda Al-Marashi's memoir tells the story of her engagement to Hadi, a fellow Iraqi-American Muslim. Although Hadi thinks of Huda as his childhood sweetheart, Huda longs for the kind of romance she sees in Hollywood movies, and is afraid that her friends will believe their marriage was arranged.

'Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story' by Wyomia Tyus and Elizabeth Terzakis

This autobiography from Olympic gold medallist Wyomia Tyus chronicles her ascension from humble beginnings as the daughter of a Georgia dairy farmer to become the first athlete ever to win the gold medal for the 100-meter dash in two consecutive Olympic games.

'White Dancing Elephants' by Chaya Bhuvaneswar

This award-winning collection of short fiction touches on the lives of people throughout South Asia and the rest of the world, including a schizophrenic artist and enslaved persons in Portugal.

CORRECTION: The piece previously mischaracterized the nature of Huda Al-Marashi's marriage; it has been updated to state that Al-Marashi worried people would believe her marriage to be arranged, though it was not.