International literary award finalist announced

Thursday 1 February 2024

Dina Nayeri, Reader in Creative Writing in St Andrews School of English and award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction, is a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle Awards. 

Dina’s critically acclaimed book, Who Gets Believed? (Catapult Books US, Harvill Secker UK), reckons with believability in our culture. Expanding on themes in her previous book, The Ungrateful Refugee, and on her own experiences as a refugee, Who Gets Believed? draws attention to the ways refugees and other vulnerable people are routinely doubted and dismissed.  

The book has been described as “an elegant telling of truth to power” (The Observer), a work that cements Nayeri as a “master storyteller of the refugee experience” (The Guardian). It is as deeply personal as it is profound in its reflections on morals, language, history, compassion, and the unspoken social codes that determine how we relate to one another. 

“This was an astonishingly difficult book to write,” says Dina, “because of all the hours spent with court transcripts and with vulnerable people, hearing them relive their worst injustices. It was also difficult for me to face my own biases.  I’m delighted and grateful to have it recognised by the Book Critics Circle, a body of thoughtful, discerning readers who are deeply engaged with questions of what literature should do.”  

Founded in 1974, the National Book Critics Circle Awards are considered among the most prestigious in American letters. Awards are presented annually to the finest books published in English in six categories: fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography, poetry, and criticism. The sole prizes are bestowed by a jury of working critics and book review editors. The National Book Critics Circle awards for the publishing year 2023 will be presented on Thursday 21 March at the New School in New York City. 

In January, Dina was also voted into a trustee role at English PEN, the literary charity which defends the right to freedom of expression in the UK and internationally. 

Issued by the University Communications Office.

Category Awards

Related topics

Share this story