Meet the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35

When Brit Bennett got the phone call that could change her career, she was sitting in a Coffee Bean in Encino, the neighborhood where the 26-year-old novelist now makes her home.

“I got a phone call from an unknown New York number,” Bennett recalled. Minutes later, she learned that she’d been selected as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honorees for her not-yet-published debut novel, “The Mothers” (it will hit shelves Oct. 11).