Angela Flournoy

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Flournoy at the 2016 Texas Book Festival.

Angela Flournoy is an American writer. Her debut novel The Turner House (2015) won the First Novelist Award and was shortlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction, shortlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and named a New York Times Notable Book of 2015.[1][2] She was also listed on the National Book Awards' 5 under 35 list, nominated by her former teacher ZZ Packer.[1][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Flournoy was raised in Southern California. Her mother was from Los Angeles and father from Detroit.[3] Flournoy attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop and the University of Southern California.[3] She started developing her first novel, The Turner House while attending the Iowa Workshop, where she frequently traveled to Detroit to visit her father's family.[1][4]


After graduating, Flournoy taught writing for the University of Iowa, Trinity Washington University, and the DC Public Library.[3][5] She published The Turner House in 2015.[6] The New York Times called it "an engrossing and remarkably mature first novel...assured and memorable."[7] BuzzFeed describes Flournoy as "the most lauded debut novelist in America," noting her many awards and honors, as well as The Turner House's strong sales: "According to Bookscan, which tracks around 70% of U.S. book sales, her book has sold over 15,000 copies in paperback and hardcover as of April [2016]; anything over 10,000 is generally considered high for literary fiction."[8]

Flournoy attributes her understanding of character development to Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Vitcavage, Adam (October 27, 2005). "The Tortoise, Not the Hare: The Millions Interviews Angela Flournoy". The Millions. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  2. ^ Philyaw, Deesha (February 13, 2016). "The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Angela Flournoy". The Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "The National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35, 2015 — Angela Flournoy". National Book Foundation. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  4. ^ "The Risks Angela Flournoy Took". The Seam. 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  5. ^ "Angela Flournoy". The Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  6. ^ Zoe Zolbrod (June 18, 2015). ""There Aint No Haints in Detroit!": An Interview With Author Angela Flournoy". Belt Magazine. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Thomas, Matthew (April 29, 2015). "'The Turner House,' by Angela Flournoy". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Shafrir, Doree (April 25, 2016). "Why America Is Ready For Novelist Angela Flournoy". BuzzFeed. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  9. ^ Fassler, Joe (September 1, 2015). "Subverting the Rule of 'Write What You Know'". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 2, 2016.