Congratulations to Tiphanie Yanique, Winner of the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize


Tiphanie Yanique was awarded the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize for her debut novel, Land of Love and Drowning (Riverhead Books). Last year's winner, Margaret Wrinkle, presented the award to her at our Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner on December 9 at The New York Athletic Club.


Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the political emergence of St. Thomas into an American territory. Wholly unique, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and the author’s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evokes an entire world and way of life and love. 

Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the short story collection, How to Escape from a Leper Colony and the picture book I Am the Virgin Islands. Yanique has won numerous awards, among them the 2011 BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Fiction, Boston Review Prize in Fiction, and a Pushcart Prize. She has been listed by the National Book Foundation as one of the 5 Under 35. A native of St. Thomas, she is now an assistant professor in the MFA and Riggio Honors Programs at the New School in New York City. She and her family split their time between Brooklyn and St. Thomas.

The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize


Our First Novel Prize is awarded to the best debut novel published between January 1st and December 31st of the award year. The author of the winning book receives $10,000 and each shortlisted author receives $1,000. The First Novel Prize was originally established in 2006 as the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize. Until 2014 it was called the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize and was supported by board member Nancy Dunnan, and her journalist father, Ray W. Flaherty. Ms. Dunnan passed away in the summer of 2014. 

The 2014 Short List


Check out our short list for  the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. The short-listed writers read from their books on the evening of December 8th at the Center for Fiction and the 2014 winner, Tiphanie Yanique, was announced on the evening of December 9th at The Center for Fiction’s Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York City. Judges were Margaret Wrinkle, David Gilbert, and Tayari Jones. VIEW THE Short LIST



Past Winners of the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize


Previous winners include Margaret Wrinkle for Wash, Ben Fountain for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Bonnie Nadzam for Lamb, and Karl Marlantes for Matterhorn. For a list of all past winners, please visit our PREVIOUS Winners PAGE