Tuesday, April 24 10:13 a.m.

While the elders of the publishing business supped at Lincoln Center for the
annual PEN dinner, the new generation was awarding and partying thirty blocks
south. The first annual Young Lions Fiction Awards, established by the New
York Public Library, gave out its first awards Monday night at the 42nd
street branch. The winner of the 35-and-under literary achievement prize:
Mark Z. Danielewski, for his novel House of Leaves. The members of the Young
Lions committee behind the awards -- actor and published novelist Ethan Hawke
, writer Rick Moody and William Morris head Jennifer Rudolph Walsh -- were on
hand to host the evening. After Moody explained that the motivation behind
the award (which carries a $10,000 cash prize) is to "attempt to provide
gratification to young, talented writers," many of whom labor away at day
jobs while working on their novels, Hawke and his wife Uma Thurman (who
really does exude a casual elegance) took turns reading excerpts from each
nominated work. All of the nominated writers made it to the event - Darin
Strauss (Chang and Eng), Myla Goldberg (Bee Season), Heidi Julavits (The
Mineral Palace), David Ebershoff (The Danish Girl), Akhil Sharma (The
Obedient Father) and of course Danielewski. Runners up each received a
leather- bound copy of his or her book, made possible by the William Morris
Agency. Meanwhile, back at PEN, jailed Iranian Publisher Shahla Lahiji and
Uzbek novelist Mamadali Mahmudov received PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to
Write Awards. There's no cash prize involved here, of course, but history
suggests the two might win something even more valuable. Two previous
recipients of this particular award have been freed from prison.

article submitted from Dylan Foley