One of America’s newest literary stars, Bryan Washington (Lot) looks to Haruki Murakami and other modern storytellers to explore how surreal elements enrich the narratives of everyday life and magnify its strangeness. He connects Murakami’s structurally loose novels (Kafka on the Shore) and those where he keeps a steady hand (Norwegian Wood) with contemporary stories on page and screen. He particularly focuses on those stories with minority protagonists – including Atlanta and Coco – where fantastical elements add feeling and weight.

Bryan Washington (International)

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Bryan Washington has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, Tin House, BuzzFeed, Bon Appétit, GQ, Vulture, FADER, The Awl, Catapult, and MUNCHIES. His debut collection of stories, Lot, is set in his hometown of Houston and is “the confession of a neighbourhood, channelled through a literary prodigy” (Mat Johnson, author of Loving Day and Pym).

Liam Pieper (Australian)

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Liam Pieper's 2014 memoir, The Feel-Good Hit of the Year was shortlisted for the National Biography Award and the Ned Kelly Best True Crime award. This was followed by Mistakes Were Made, a collection of essays about why you should never write a memoir. In 2015 he was the inaugural creative resident of the UNESCO City of Literature of Prague, where he completed his first novel The Toymaker which has been widely translated and won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Christina Stead Fiction Award. He was the 2018 National Library of Australia Creative Arts Fellow for Australian Writing.