Best Young Writer - 2009
Young talent, however beleaguered and outer Bushwick it gets, remains one of New York's selling points. And, in the mostly non-electrified literary community, youthful debuts are about as exciting as things get, give or take a new Philip Roth novel. So far, this year's debut to beat is Wells Tower's Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, an eerily assured, unsettling story collection that ranges from the uncomfortably passive-aggressive right through to the violently surreal. Tower, a North Carolina transplant turned Greenpoint resident, turned 35 this year, and is working on a novel, but few people of any age wrote a better book in 2009. "I guess I'm just drawn to people who defeat themselves," Tower told us back in March. "People who really want human connection, or who want a safe harbor, but can never have that, or somehow fuck that up."