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First Novel Prize

2008 First Novel Prize

The Center for Fiction

The Center for Fiction 2008 First Novel Prize (then called the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize) was awarded to Hannah Tinti for her debut novel The Good Thief (The Dial Press). Read about The Good Thief below and browse 2008’s shortlisted titles.

This annual award was created in 2006 to honor the best first novel of the year. Debut novels published between January 1 and December 31 of the award year are eligible. The winner is announced in December at our Annual Awards Benefit.


  • The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti (The Dial Press)


  • The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block (Random House)
  • Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
  • Dervishes by Beth Helms (Picador)
  • Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter by Peter Manseau (Free Press)
  • Personal Days by Ed Park (Random House)
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (Ecco/HarperCollins)