Award for Fiction

The 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalists


The 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony is May 14th – join the finalists to celebrate!


james_hannaham_ian_douglas-1600x900-c-defaultJames Hannaham is the author of Delicious Foods and God Says No, which was honored by the American Library Association. He holds an MFA from the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin and lives in Brooklyn, where he teaches creative writing at Pratt Institute.




Julie IromuanyaJulie Iromuanya is the author of Mr. and Mrs. Doctor. Her creative writing has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Passages North, the Cream City Review, and the Tampa Review, among other journals. Iromuanya earned her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is an assistant professor of English and Africana literature in the University of Arizona creative writing MFA program.



Nguyen, Viet Thanh photo credit BeBe JacobsViet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizerwas born in Vietnam and raised in America. His stories have appeared in Best New American Voices, TriQuarterly, Narrative, and the Chicago Tribune and he is the author of the academic book Race and Resistance, and a new work of nonfiction, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, March 2016). He teaches English and American Studies at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.


tallentElizabeth Tallent is the author most recently of Mendocino Fire, and previously of the story collections Honey, In Constant Flight, and Time with Children, and the novel Museum Pieces. Since 1994 she has taught in the Creative Writing program at Stanford University. She lives on the Mendocino coast of California.




Luis_Alberto_Urrea_by_Nicole_Waite[1]Luis Alberto Urrea, author most recently of The Water Museumhas won the Lannan Literary Award, the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize, an American Book Award, the Christopher Award, and an Edgar Award, among other honors. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and an American mother, he lives outside Chicago and is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.



About the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is a national prize which honors the best published works of fiction by American citizens in a calendar year. Three writers are chosen annually by the directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to serve as judges for the prize, and these judges are asked to select five books (from among the more than 350 works submitted each year) as finalists for the award, making this the largest peer-juried award in the country. Both the eventual winner of the award and all finalists are invited to Washington, D.C. for the PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony and Dinner.

Celebrating the winner as “first among equals,” the 36th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony will take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. The event will feature the judges’ citations for each finalist’s book, the conferral of the PEN/Faulkner Award, and a reading by each author. Dinner afterward will feature specialty cocktails made by our Ceremony sponsor One Eight Distilling, representing the nation’s capital with exceptional small batch craft spirits, including District Made Vodka, Ivy City Gin, and Rock Creek Whiskey.

Each year, the PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Dinner is open to the public. Tickets are available for purchase through the Box Office of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Call the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077 for more information.

A list of past winners and finalists of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction can be found here.


About the 2016 Judges:

Abby Frucht
‘s new novel, A Well Made Bed, on which she collaborated with Laurie Alberts, will be published in March 2016 by Red Hen Press. Her five other novels include SNAP, Licorice, Are You Mine?, Life Before Death, and Polly’s Ghost,and her two collections of stories are Fruit of the Month, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize for 1987, and The Bell at the End of a Rope.The recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, Frucht lives in Wisconsin and has been on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts for twenty years.



Molly McCloskey was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Oregon. After spending 23 years in Ireland, she now lives between Washington, DC and Dublin. She is the author of a collection of short stories, Solomon’s Seal; a novella, The Beautiful Changes; and a novel, Protection. Her first work of nonfiction, a memoir concerning her brother Mike, who suffers from schizophrenia, is entitled Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother (2012). She is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and the Dublin Review, and has taught writing at universities in Ireland and the US, serving as Writer Fellow at Trinity College Dublin and at University College Dublin. In 2013/2014, she was the Jenny McKean Moore Fellow at George Washington University.


Sergio Troncoso
is the author of the novels The Nature of Truth and From This Wicked Patch of Dust, named by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best novels of 2012. Troncoso is also the author of Crossing Borders: Personal Essays and The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, and he co-edited Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence. Among the numerous awards he has won are the Premio Aztlan Literary Prize, Southwest Book Award, Bronze Award for Essays from ForeWord Reviews, and International Latino Book Award. He is a resident faculty member of the Yale Writers’ Conference. He lives in New York City.


Buy Copies of the Books from Politics & Prose:

Politics and Prose logoOur longtime friends and partners at Politics & Prose are on hand at the ceremony to sell books by the finalists and winner, and we encourage you to check out the store’s huge selections of books and amazing lineup of live events by visiting them online here:


Listen to the Podcast:

PEN/Faulkner Podcast LogoPast PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Readings have been recorded and produced as episodes of the PEN/Faulkner Podcast. You can listen to award ceremonies and other events on the Podcast Page.

You can also subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes.

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