By Barbara Hoffert

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Second Place

A gorgeously sculpted story of living and learning; for all readers.


Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer

The narrative can get a little lost in the gorgeous, reflective language but remains an absorbing study of memory and grief.

Lorna Mott Comes Home

The crises here aren’t huge, but they are real and insightfully played as Johnson delivers a satisfying understanding of life’s constant vagaries.


The Bridgetower Sonata

Charming in its details and sharply perceptive in its intent, this fluidly translated work is not just for music lovers but for everyone interested in the culture and history of its setting, and in the risks of friendship.

Her Here

Elena’s narrative-within-a-narrative nicely reveals the creative process, while Dennis’s larger story confirms the value of living boldly even as we step back to frame our experiences. Highly recommended.

Painting Time

There’s only one word for it: superbe.



An invigorating, informative read. Jill’s strong voice throughout gives a sense of immediacy, and the prose is punchy, economical, and wry. We learn how fishing quotas impact her town’s shaky economy and how gentrification is overtaking Maine’s harbor towns, a context that elevates the story beyond mere domestic drama.

Milk Blood Heat

Highly recommended; catch this writer early in her game.

On Fragile Waves

Essential fiction to understand our world; Yu will draw in new fans while continuing to intrigue those who have read her for years.

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