It's been ten years since The New Yorker chose its last "20 Under 40" little-known writers worth watching. In 1999 the relatively unknown writers Jhumpa Lahiri, Michael Chabon, and Jeffrey Eugenides made the list.
The current list's process began in January, when editors e-mailed agents, publishers, and other writers for potential candidates. This initial list was whittled down to forty writers who fell within the age guideline. The writers who made the shortlist were asked to submit a short story or excerpt from a novel that would later be published in the magazine. Eight of the writers’ submissions will run in the Summer Fiction issue; the remaining twelve will run in later issues over the course of the summer.
Ten men, ten women; from places as distant as Miami to Ethiopia, and Chicago to Peru; writers all born after 1970: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 32; Chris Adrian, 39; Daniel Alarcón, 33; David Bezmozgis, 37; Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, 38; Joshua Ferris, 35; Jonathan Safran Foer, 33; Nell Freudenberger, 35; Rivka Galchen, 34; Nicole Krauss, 35; Yiyun Li, 37; Dinaw Mengestu, 31; Philipp Meyer, 36; C. E. Morgan, 33; Téa Obreht, 24; Z Z Packer, 37; Karen Russell, 28; Salvatore Scibona, 35; Gary Shteyngart, 37; and Wells Tower, 37.
To get acquainted with the 20, check out their Q&As and visit links to their stories.