Maya Binyam Named a 5 Under 35 Honoree by the National Book Foundation for 2024

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Maya Binyam

Ethiopian-American author Maya Binyam has been selected by Alejandro Varela, a 2022 National Book Award Finalist, for her stunning 2023 novel Hangman, earning her a spot on the National Book Foundation’s prestigious 5 Under 35 honorees list for 2024.

Published in August 2023, Hangman tells the story of a man who returns home to sub-Saharan Africa after twenty-six years in America, only to find that he no longer recognizes the country or its people. Recognized by a stranger who calls him brother, he embarks on a quest to find his dying real brother. The novel explores themes of exile, diaspora, and the challenges of Black refuge in America and beyond.

Maya Binyam’s work has been featured in prominent publications such as The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, New York, Bookforum, Columbia Journalism Review, and The New York Times Book Review. She is a contributing editor at The Paris Review and has previously served as an editor at Triple Canopy and The New Inquiry, as well as a lecturer in the New School’s Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program. Hangman is her debut novel.

The 5 Under 35 Honorees are writers under the age of 35 from around the world who have published their first and only book of fiction—either a short story collection or a novel—within the last five years. The honorees are celebrated at a ceremony and presented with a $1,000 prize. This initiative is part of the Foundation’s commitment to celebrating books, promoting inclusivity, and engaging more readers.

Joining Maya Binyam as honorees are:

  • Zain Khalid for Brother Alive
  • Antonia Angress for Sirens&Muses
  • Tyriek White for We Are A Haunting
  • Jenny Tinghui Zhang for Four Treasures of The Sky

Congratulations, Maya Binyam, on this well-deserved recognition!


Bakare Oluwatobiloba

I write to educate, motivate and define history with literature. Just being me!