Announcing the 2022 Young Lions Fiction Award Finalists

By NYPL Staff
April 14, 2022
stack of five books on a table in a library setting

The New York Public Library

Updated June 16, 2022: The New York Public Library is proud to announce that Kalani Pickhart has won the 2022 Young Lions Fiction Award for her book I Will Die in a Foreign Land.

We are pleased to announce the finalists for the twenty-second annual Young Lions Fiction Award, honoring the works of five talented young authors.

The finalists for the 2022 Young Lions Fiction Award are:

  • Black Buck

    by Mateo Askaripour

    An unambitious college graduate accepts a job at Sumwun, the hottest NYC startup, and reimagines himself as “Buck” a ruthless salesman and begins to hatch a plan to help young people of color infiltrate America’s sales force.

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    Something New Under the Sun

    by Alexandra Kleeman

    While in Hollywood overseeing the production of a film adaptation of one of his books, novelist Patrick Hamlin discovers that a company behind a mysterious new brand of synthetic water is responsible for the recent droughts and wildfires and teams up with a starlet to investigate the city’s darker side.

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    The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu

    by Tom Lin

    Fighting his way across the West to rescue his wife and exact revenge on the men who destroyed him, while settling old scores along the way, Ming Tsu is aided by a blind clairvoyant and a troupe of magic-show performers, some with supernatural powers.

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    Milk Blood Heat

    by Dantiel W. Moniz

    Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning.

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    I Will Die in a Foreign Land

    by Kalani Pickhart

    Follows four individuals over the course of a volatile Ukrainian winter, as their lives become intertwined and are forever changed by the Euromaidan protests triggered by President Yanukovych’s choosing to align with Russia instead of the European Union in 2013.

The winner will be announced during an award ceremony on June 16 at 7 PM in the Bartos Forum of the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. For more details about the Fiction Award and the Young Lions visit The books are available for purchase at

NYPL cardholders can find these books on SimplyE, the Library's free e-reader app. Plus, new users who live in New York State can apply for a library card directly through the app. Learn more and download for iPad/iPhone and Android.

Which book do you think should win? Join the conversation on social media using #NYPLYoungLions!

About the Young Lions Fiction Award

Founded in 2001 by Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, Rick Moody, and Hannah McFarland, the Young Lions Fiction Award is given annually to an American writer age 35 or younger for either a novel or a collection of short stories. Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of writers, editors, and librarians. A panel of award judges—which this year includes 2019 winner Ling Ma—will select the winner of this year's $10,000 prize.

Past winners of the Young Lions Fiction Award include: Last year’s winner Catherine Lacey, Pew; Claire Vaye Watkins, Battleborn; Ling Ma, Severance; Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans; and Bryan Washington, Lot. Past nominees have included: Kiley Reid, Such a Fun Age; Nick Drnaso, Sabrina; Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones; C Pam Zhang, How Much of These Hills is Gold; and Julia Phillips, Disappearing Earth.

The Award is made possible by an endowment created with generous gifts from Russell Abrams, Nina Collins, Hannah and Gavin McFarland, Ethan Hawke, Stephan Loewentheil, Rick Moody, Andrea Olshan, and Jennifer Rudolph Walsh.

To attend the ceremony and celebration on June 16, become a Young Lion today.

About the Young Lions

The Young Lions is a special membership group for people in their 20s and 30s who love literature, a good cocktail, and the Library. Membership provides critical support to the Library's Book Fund, which ensures all New Yorkers have access to books, e-books, and other essential resources, completely free of charge.

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