Kirstin Valdez Quade (CRF 2017) was awarded the Center for Fiction’s 2021 First Novel Prize for her book The Five Wounds.

The award was announced at The Center for Fiction’s Annual Awards Benefit and 200th Anniversary Celebration on December 7th, 2021. Last year’s winner, Raven Leilani, presented Quade with the award, which carries with it a prize of $15,000. The Five Wounds was selected by a panel of distinguished American writers—Alexander Chee (CRF 2011), Susan Choi, Yaa Gyasi, Raven Leilani, and Dinaw Mengestu. 

In The Five Wounds, Amadeo Padilla was hoping for redemption through his portrayal of Jesus in the Good Friday procession of his small town in New Mexico when his fifteen-year-old daughter, Angel, shows up pregnant after fleeing her mother’s house. Five generations of the Padilla family converge during the baby’s first year, bringing to life their struggles to parent children they may not be equipped to save. Learn more here.