Submissions for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Are Closed

Submissions for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award have now closed.

This year’s judges, Abby FruchtMolly McCloskey, and Sergio Troncoso, are busy reading the novels, novellas, and collections of short stories in order to choose next year’s winner and finalists.

The award was founded by members of the international writers’ organization PEN and is now governed by an independent foundation board. The budget for the award and its administration is funded by gifts and grants. We are always grateful for support of the award and of other PEN/Faulkner programs.

The winning writer and four finalists are honored at a ceremony held in Washington at the Folger Shakespeare Library in May. To browse a list of past winners and finalists, click here. To read the award announcement letter, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, please send them to awards@penfaulkner.org.

Dec. 4th: The PEN/Malamud Award Honoring Deborah Eisenberg

Author Deborah Eisenberg poses for a portrait in her home on September 16, 2009 in Charlottesville, VA.

The PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story: Honoring Deborah Eisenberg

Friday, December 4th, 2015  |  7:30 PM
Purchase a single ticket for $25

Folger Shakespeare Library – Old Reading Room
201 East Capitol Street SE
Washington, DC 20003 
(map)

 

Given since 1988 in honor of the late Bernard Malamud, this award recognizes a body of work demonstrating excellence in the art of short fiction. This year we will honor Deborah Eisenberg, making her the fourth writer to have won both the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story.

 

Eisenberg - CollectedDeborah Eisenberg is the author most recently of The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, which contains the works published in her four short story collections: Transactions in a Foreign Currency, Under the 82nd Airborne, All Around Atlantis, and Twilight of the Superheroes. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many other honors and awards. She is the 2011 recipient of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, making her the fourth writer to have won both the PEN/Faulkner and PEN/Malamud Awards. She teaches at Columbia University.

“Eisenberg is a necessary writer because in a culture in which we think we’ve seen and heard everything, she demonstrates that…there are things yet to discover about what it’s like to be a person in the world.”

– Ben Marcus 


 

About the Award

Malamud - small with both armsThe PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story was established by Bernard Malamud’s family to honor excellence in the art of short fiction. The basis of the award fund was a gift from the Malamud family. The fund continues to grow through the generosity of friends, supporters, and Reading Series subscribers. The readings and the fund are administered by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. A panel of PEN/Faulkner directors forms the selection committee for the awards.

Now Accepting Submissions for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is now accepting submissions for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction!

This year’s judges, Sigrid Nunez, Chris Abani, and Chantel Acevedo, are poised to read the novels, novellas, and collections of short stories and to choose next year’s winner and finalists.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Books must be published in 2016.
  • Authors must be living American citizens.
  • Books must be published on a commercial, academic, or small press. No self-published books are accepted.
  • There are no submission fees or application forms.
  • Bound proofs are eligible for submission for books which will be published in November or December of 2016.
  • All submissions must be post-marked October 31, 2016.

Please send FOUR copies of each book to the following address for forwarding to the judges. You are invited to send as many shipments as you like, and are encouraged to send available books as soon as possible.

PEN/Faulkner Award Submissions
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

The award was founded by members of the international writers’ organization PEN and is now governed by an independent foundation board. The budget for the award and its administration is funded by gifts and grants. We are always grateful for support of the award and of other PEN/Faulkner programs.

The winning writer and four finalists are honored at a ceremony held in Washington at the Folger Shakespeare Library in May. To browse a list of past winners and finalists, click here. To read the award announcement letter, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, please send them to awards@penfaulkner.org.

Episode 46 – 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation holds it's annual awards program at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC on Saturday, May 2, 2015.   (James R. Brantley)

Episode 46 features the 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Reading, which was held at the Folger Shakespeare Library here in Washington, DC on May 2nd, 2015.

The winner of this year’s award was Atticus Lish for his novel Preparation for the Next Life, and the four finalists for the prize were:

Jeffery Renard Allen for his novel Song of the Shank 

Jennifer Clement for her novel Prayers for the Stolen 

Emily St. John Mandel for her novel Station Eleven 

Jenny Offill for her novel Dept. of Speculation

All five of the authors joined us at the Folger for the ceremony and reading, and they were joined onstage by this year’s judges, Alexander Chee, Marc Fitten, and Deirdre McNamer, who you’ll hear read their citations for each finalist and the winner.

The event opened with remarks by Frazier O’Leary, president of PEN/Faulkner’s Board of Directors, and Emma Snyder, our Executive Director. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was B.J. Novak.

 

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Thank you to Benedict Kupstas and Field Guides for donating the music used in this episode. Listen here to Field Guides’ album Boo, Forever.

Announcing the 2015 PEN/Malamud Award Winner

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is pleased to announce that Deborah Eisenberg will receive the 2015 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story in an Award Ceremony & Reading held at the Folger Shakespeare Library on December 4th, 2015.

 

Author Deborah Eisenberg poses for a portrait in her home on September 16, 2009 in Charlottesville, VA.

Deborah Eisenberg is the author most recently of The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, which contains the works published in her four short story collections: Transactions in a Foreign CurrencyUnder the 82nd AirborneAll Around Atlantis, and Twilight of the Superheroes. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many other honors and awards. She is the 2011 recipient of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, making her the fourth writer to have won both the PEN/Faulkner and PEN/Malamud Awards. She teaches at Columbia University.

Click here for more information about the PEN/Malamud Award and for a list of past winners, and here to read the full press release.

The 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Dinner

PEN-Faulkner__059

The 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Dinner

May 2nd, 2015 at 7:00 PM

Folger Shakespeare Library


awd collageCelebrating the winner as “first among equals,” the 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Dinner will take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $100.

The event will feature the judges’ citations for each finalist’s book, the conferral of the PEN/Faulkner Award on Atticus Lish for Preparation for the Next Life, and a reading by each author. Actor, writer, and comic B.J. Novak will host the evening.

After the readings, we’ll adjourn to the Old Reading Room of the Folger Shakespeare Library for a buffet dinner with the judges, finalists, and winner. By purchasing a table for 10, you guarantee seats with your friends, an exclusive chance to pre-select your spot in the Reading Room, and the opportunity to sit with a local author.

To purchase tickets, click here or call the Folger Box Office at 202-544-7077; to purchase a table, call the Box Office. We can’t wait to see you there!

“The most incredible part of this incredible, wonderful award are the people who are on this stage with me.” – Karen Joy Fowler, 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner

Announcing The 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winner

Lish

 

Congratulations to Atticus Lish, winner of the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his novel Preparation for the Next Life (Tyrant Books), and congratulations again to our four finalists:

Jeffery Renard Allen for Song of the Shank (Graywolf Press)

Jennifer Clement for Prayers for the Stolen (Hogarth)

Emily St. John Mandel for Station Eleven (Alfred A. Knopf)

Jenny Offill for Dept. of Speculation (Alfred A. Knopf)


 

About the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winner and Finalists:

 

LishATTICUS LISH
Preparation for the Next Life
(Tyrant Books)


Atticus Lish’s Preparation for the Next Life
 is a document of the undocumented and an unlikely love story between a Chinese Muslim immigrant, Zou Lei, and a traumatized Iraq War veteran, Skinner. Skinner comes to New York after a disastrous tour in Iraq, looking for a party, “holding to the idea that if he partied hard enough, he’d eventually succeed in having a good time and would start wanting to live again.” Zou Lei comes to New York fresh from a deportation scare in order to, “stay where everybody was illegal just like her and get lost in the crowd.” When they cross paths in a food court, they fall into a relationship haunted by Zou Lei’s fear of deportation and the symptoms of Skinner’s post-traumatic stress disorder. There is little, it seems, either can do to save the other. Preparation for the Next Life forces readers to look squarely at a host of the failures plaguing contemporary American society. Lish’s prose is dogged and steadfast as he describes his characters’ raw reality and the desperate lives they struggle to lead. Praising the novel in The Nation, Madison Smartt Bell writes: “The members of our polymorphous underclasses most often appear as statistics; in presenting a few of them as individuals, Lish offers his audience a salubrious shock.”

Atticus Lish lives in New York City.

 

Allen, Jeffery Renard (Mark Hillringhouse)JEFFERY RENARD ALLEN
Song of the Shank
(Graywolf Press)

Jeffery Renard Allen’s novel Song of the Shank is a wide-ranging, fabulist-infused narrative that whorls in and around the life of 19th-century piano prodigy Tom Wiggins, better known as Blind Tom. Born into slavery in 1840s Georgia, Tom’s ability to play a piece of music after only hearing it once propels him into a world of opportunistic managers, international stardom, and the teeming tensions of Reconstruction era New York. The novel shifts between points of view, and leaps between not just geographies but realities, showing us that “Beneath history is another history we’ve made without even knowing it.” Jeff Calder writes in the The Atlanta-Journal Constitution: “Reading through this sagacious volume is like stumbling on a crooked monument covered in celestial carvings, something that aims for the stars and ends up reconfiguring constellations.”

Jeffery Renard Allen’s most recent book is Song of the Shank, which appeared on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of a previous novel, Rails Under My Back, the story collection Holding Pattern, and two collections of poetry. He was born and raised in Chicago and now lives in New York City, where he teaches at Queens College and in the Writing Program at the New School.

 

Jennifer Clement Credit Barbara SibleyJENNIFER CLEMENT
Prayers for the Stolen
(Hogarth)

In Jennifer Clement’s Prayers for the Stolen, baby girls are called Boy to keep drug traffickers from knowing they exist. Once they hit puberty, they rub their skin with hot pepper and color their teeth with black markers so the traffickers will find them too ugly to steal. Ladydi Garcia Martínez, Clement’s narrator, grows up hearing from her mother that life is worth nothing. And yet Ladydi loves her life, and fights to protect herself from the drug traffickers and from her mother’s hopelessness. She prays constantly: at her mother’s altar to Oprah, to a flyswatter when the house is full of bugs, for her stolen friend Paula. And when Ladydi falls in love, Clement writes, “He climbed up my ribs and into me. I thought to myself, Say a prayer for ladders.” Clement’s language is spare and beautiful, full of humor and of the idiosyncrasies of Mexican Spanish, which she uses to create a vernacular as original as her protagonist. In The New York Times, Francisco Goldman writes: “Prayers for the Stolen is as harrowing as you would expect, but it’s also beguiling, and even crazily enchanting.”

Jennifer Clement has studied literature in New York and Paris. She was awarded the NEA Fellowship for Literature for Prayers for the Stolen, which was her first novel published in the United States. Former President of PEN Mexico, she currently lives in Mexico City. She is also the author of Widow Basquiat.

 

Mandel aupEMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL
Station Eleven
(Alfred A. Knopf)

Emily St. John Mandel paints a devastating portrait of the future in her dystopian novel Station Eleven. A vicious strain of the flu originates in Georgia, spreads across the globe in the span of weeks, and wipes out most of the human population. The novel jumps between the pre-Georgian Flu world and the frightening one that replaces it. In the opening chapter, Arthur Leander, a movie star who has taken to the stage as King Lear, drops dead of a heart attack before the curtains can close. On the scene are two characters who return in later post-flu chapters: a paparazzo turned paramedic named Jeevan who tries to resuscitate Arthur, and a young child actor named Kirsten Raymond who idolizes him. Kirsten will go on to join a traveling troupe of actors who perform Shakespeare in dismal towns where the dwindling population struggles to survive. The troupe’s motto is cribbed from Star Trek: “Survival is insufficient.” Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Karen Valby praises the novel as reading “like equal parts page-turner and poem. One of [Mandel’s] great feats is that the story feels spun rather than plotted, with seamless shifts in time and characters.”

Emily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a 2014 National Book Award nominee. She is a staff writer for The Millions, and she lives in New York City with her husband.

 

JENNY OFFILL
Dept. of Speculation
(Alfred A. Knopf)

In Dept. of Speculation, Jenny Offill chronicles the marriage of a writer wife and radio broadcaster husband through sharp and beautiful fragments of prose, charting the couple’s everyday joys and minor tragedies from the first moments of falling in love to surviving bed bugs in Brooklyn. The characters remain unnamed throughout the book, and the wife describes in the opening pages how in her youth she dreamed of becoming an “art monster” whose focus on creating would allow her to forgo a traditional path to domestic life. She’s not exactly bitter as she takes on wifehood and motherhood, but seems instead both startled and amused that her home life offers so many new surprises. Though she is often beleaguered by the loneliness of being a new mother, she feels supported by her husband, who she describes as “famously kind. . . He’s from Ohio. This means he never forgets to thank the bus driver or pushes in front at the baggage claim.” And so midway through the book, when their marriage suffers the age-old trauma of infidelity, the reader is as rocked as the narrator, who no longer refers to herself as “I,” instead becoming, “the wife.” The narrator becomes a more distant pronoun while she searches for answers. James Wood writes in The New Yorker,Dept. of Speculation is all the more powerful because, with its scattered insights and apparently piecemeal form, it at first appears slight. Its depth and intensity make a stealthy purchase on the reader.”

Jenny Offill is the author of two novels, Dept. of Speculation, which was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times, and Last Things, which was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Book Award. She teaches in the writing programs at Queens University, Brooklyn College, and Columbia University.

 

About the 2015 Judges:


Alex_FinalAlexander Chee 
is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in February of 2016. He is a recipient of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, GuernicaNPR and Outamong others. He lives in New York City.

 

 

Marc Fitten is the author of two novels: Valeria’s Last Stand and Elza’s Kitchen. He has been published in half a dozen languages and is a resident faculty member at the Yale Writers Conference. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

 

 

_X0Z7608small (1)Deirdre McNamer is the author of four novels: Rima in the Weeds, One Sweet Quarrel, My Russian, and Red Rover, which was named a best book of 2007 by the Washington Post, LA Times, and Artforum. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Montana, and lives in Missoula.

 

Buy Copies of the Books from Politics & Prose:

Politics and Prose logoOur longtime friends and partners at Politics & Prose will be on hand to sell copies of books by this year’s 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: http://www.politics-prose.com/

 

 

Listen to the Podcast:

PEN/Faulkner Podcast LogoThe 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Reading will recorded and produced as an episode of the PEN/Faulkner Podcast. You can listen to past awards and other events on the Podcast Page.

You can also  Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes.

 

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 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony will take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 2, 2015 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.

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.

 

Meet the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalists

finalist collage

 

On May 2, 2015, we will honor the to-be-announced winner of the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the four finalists for the prize. Each author will read from their work and be recognized on stage by this year’s judges, Alexander Chee, Marc Fitten, and Deirdre McNamer.

About the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalists:

 

Allen, Jeffery Renard (Mark Hillringhouse)JEFFERY RENARD ALLEN
Song of the Shank
(Graywolf Press)

Jeffery Renard Allen’s novel Song of the Shank is a wide-ranging, fabulist-infused narrative that whorls in and around the life of 19th-century piano prodigy Tom Wiggins, better known as Blind Tom. Born into slavery in 1840s Georgia, Tom’s ability to play a piece of music after only hearing it once propels him into a world of opportunistic managers, international stardom, and the teeming tensions of Reconstruction era New York. The novel shifts between points of view, and leaps between not just geographies but realities, showing us that “Beneath history is another history we’ve made without even knowing it.” Jeff Calder writes in the The Atlanta-Journal Constitution: “Reading through this sagacious volume is like stumbling on a crooked monument covered in celestial carvings, something that aims for the stars and ends up reconfiguring constellations.”

Jeffery Renard Allen’s most recent book is Song of the Shank, which appeared on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of a previous novel, Rails Under My Back, the story collection Holding Pattern, and two collections of poetry. He was born and raised in Chicago and now lives in New York City, where he teaches at Queens College and in the Writing Program at the New School.

 

Jennifer Clement Credit Barbara SibleyJENNIFER CLEMENT
Prayers for the Stolen
(Hogarth)

In Jennifer Clement’s Prayers for the Stolen, baby girls are called Boy to keep drug traffickers from knowing they exist. Once they hit puberty, they rub their skin with hot pepper and color their teeth with black markers so the traffickers will find them too ugly to steal. Ladydi Garcia Martínez, Clement’s narrator, grows up hearing from her mother that life is worth nothing. And yet Ladydi loves her life, and fights to protect herself from the drug traffickers and from her mother’s hopelessness. She prays constantly: at her mother’s altar to Oprah, to a flyswatter when the house is full of bugs, for her stolen friend Paula. And when Ladydi falls in love, Clement writes, “He climbed up my ribs and into me. I thought to myself, Say a prayer for ladders.” Clement’s language is spare and beautiful, full of humor and of the idiosyncrasies of Mexican Spanish, which she uses to create a vernacular as original as her protagonist. In The New York Times, Francisco Goldman writes: “Prayers for the Stolen is as harrowing as you would expect, but it’s also beguiling, and even crazily enchanting.”

Jennifer Clement has studied literature in New York and Paris. She was awarded the NEA Fellowship for Literature for Prayers for the Stolen, which was her first novel published in the United States. Former President of PEN Mexico, she currently lives in Mexico City. She is also the author of Widow Basquiat.

 


Lish
ATTICUS LISH
Preparation for the Next Life
(Tyrant Books)

Atticus Lish’s Preparation for the Next Life is a document of the undocumented and an unlikely love story between a Chinese Muslim immigrant, Zou Lei, and a traumatized Iraq War veteran, Skinner. Skinner comes to New York after a disastrous tour in Iraq, looking for a party, “holding to the idea that if he partied hard enough, he’d eventually succeed in having a good time and would start wanting to live again.” Zou Lei comes to New York fresh from a deportation scare in order to, “stay where everybody was illegal just like her and get lost in the crowd.” When they cross paths in a food court, they fall into a relationship haunted by Zou Lei’s fear of deportation and the symptoms of Skinner’s post-traumatic stress disorder. There is little, it seems, either can do to save the other. Preparation for the Next Life forces readers to look squarely at a host of the failures plaguing contemporary American society. Lish’s prose is dogged and steadfast as he describes his characters’ raw reality and the desperate lives they struggle to lead. Praising the novel in The Nation, Madison Smartt Bell writes: “The members of our polymorphous underclasses most often appear as statistics; in presenting a few of them as individuals, Lish offers his audience a salubrious shock.”

Atticus Lish lives in New York City.

 

Mandel aupEMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL
Station Eleven
(Alfred A. Knopf)

Emily St. John Mandel paints a devastating portrait of the future in her dystopian novel Station Eleven. A vicious strain of the flu originates in Georgia, spreads across the globe in the span of weeks, and wipes out most of the human population. The novel jumps between the pre-Georgian Flu world and the frightening one that replaces it. In the opening chapter, Arthur Leander, a movie star who has taken to the stage as King Lear, drops dead of a heart attack before the curtains can close. On the scene are two characters who return in later post-flu chapters: a paparazzo turned paramedic named Jeevan who tries to resuscitate Arthur, and a young child actor named Kirsten Raymond who idolizes him. Kirsten will go on to join a traveling troupe of actors who perform Shakespeare in dismal towns where the dwindling population struggles to survive. The troupe’s motto is cribbed from Star Trek: “Survival is insufficient.” Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Karen Valby praises the novel as reading “like equal parts page-turner and poem. One of [Mandel’s] great feats is that the story feels spun rather than plotted, with seamless shifts in time and characters.”

Emily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a 2014 National Book Award nominee. She is a staff writer for The Millions, and she lives in New York City with her husband.

 

JENNY OFFILL
Dept. of Speculation
(Alfred A. Knopf)

In Dept. of Speculation, Jenny Offill chronicles the marriage of a writer wife and radio broadcaster husband through sharp and beautiful fragments of prose, charting the couple’s everyday joys and minor tragedies from the first moments of falling in love to surviving bed bugs in Brooklyn. The characters remain unnamed throughout the book, and the wife describes in the opening pages how in her youth she dreamed of becoming an “art monster” whose focus on creating would allow her to forgo a traditional path to domestic life. She’s not exactly bitter as she takes on wifehood and motherhood, but seems instead both startled and amused that her home life offers so many new surprises. Though she is often beleaguered by the loneliness of being a new mother, she feels supported by her husband, who she describes as “famously kind. . . He’s from Ohio. This means he never forgets to thank the bus driver or pushes in front at the baggage claim.” And so midway through the book, when their marriage suffers the age-old trauma of infidelity, the reader is as rocked as the narrator, who no longer refers to herself as “I,” instead becoming, “the wife.” The narrator becomes a more distant pronoun while she searches for answers. James Wood writes in The New Yorker,Dept. of Speculation is all the more powerful because, with its scattered insights and apparently piecemeal form, it at first appears slight. Its depth and intensity make a stealthy purchase on the reader.”

Jenny Offill is the author of two novels, Dept. of Speculation, which was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times, and Last Things, which was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Book Award. She teaches in the writing programs at Queens University, Brooklyn College, and Columbia University.

 

About the 2015 Judges:


Alex_FinalAlexander Chee 
is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in February of 2016. He is a recipient of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, GuernicaNPR and Outamong others. He lives in New York City.

 

 

Marc Fitten is the author of two novels: Valeria’s Last Stand and Elza’s Kitchen. He has been published in half a dozen languages and is a resident faculty member at the Yale Writers Conference. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

 

 

_X0Z7608small (1)Deirdre McNamer is the author of four novels: Rima in the Weeds, One Sweet Quarrel, My Russian, and Red Rover, which was named a best book of 2007 by the Washington Post, LA Times, and Artforum. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Montana, and lives in Missoula.

 

Buy Copies of the Books from Politics & Prose:

Politics and Prose logoOur longtime friends and partners at Politics & Prose will be on hand to sell copies of books by this year’s 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: http://www.politics-prose.com/

 

 

Listen to the Podcast:

PEN/Faulkner Podcast LogoThe 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Reading will recorded and produced as an episode of the PEN/Faulkner Podcast. You can listen to past awards and other events on the Podcast Page.

You can also  Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes.

 

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 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony will take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 2, 2015 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.

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.

 

 

 

Congratulations 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists!

2015 Award Covers Banner

Judges Alexander Chee, Marc Fitten, and Deirdre McNamer have announced their list of finalists for the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The winner will be announced on April 7th, and the 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

More information about this year’s finalists and their work can be found on our Award for Fiction page.

Congratulations to our finalists:

Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Song of the Shank (Graywolf Press)

Jennifer Clement, author of Prayers for the Stolen (Hogarth)

Atticus Lish, author of Preparation for the Next Life (Tyrant Books)

Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven (Alfred A. Knopf)

Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation (Alfred A. Knopf)

 

2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Winner & Finalists

collage with logo

On May 10, 2014 we honored the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, Karen Joy Fowler, and the four finalists for the prize, Daniel Alarcón, Percival Everett, Joan Silber, and Valerie Trueblood. Each author read from their work and was recognized on stage by this year’s judges, Madison Smartt Bell, Manuel Muñoz, and Achy Obejas.

Download the original press release here.

 

About the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winner:

Karen Joy Fowler author photo

KAREN JOY FOWLER
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Karen Joy Fowler brings new meaning to the axiom, “Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” in We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (G.P. Putnam’s Sons). Rosemary Cooke, the novel’s twenty-two-year-old narrator, comes from what seems an ordinary enough 1970’s Midwestern family: two scientist parents—her father is a psychology professor at Indiana University—and three children. Taking the advice her father often dispensed when she was a loquacious child (“Skip the beginning. Start in the middle.”), Rosemary begins her story after grief over her lost sister, Fern, has fissured her family. Rosemary has just been arrested on her college campus; her runaway brother is wanted by the FBI; and her family has still never approached the topic of Fern, who disappeared when Rosemary was five. A quarter of the way through her story, Rosemary reveals a strange truth, deftly hidden from the reader up until that point: Fern is a chimpanzee, and she and Rosemary were twinned as the subjects of a behavioral psychology experiment conducted by Rosemary’s father and gone terribly awry. To explain why she didn’t share this detail sooner, Rosemary says, “I tell you Fern is a chimp and, already, you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. You’re thinking instead that we loved her as if she were some kind of pet.” Writing for the New York Times, Barbara Kingsolver praises the novel as “so readably juicy and surreptitiously smart, it deserves all the attention it can get […] Fowler is a trustworthy guide through many complex territories.”

The author of six previous novels, including The Jane Austen Book Club and Sister Noon, which was a finalist for the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, Fowler lives in Santa Cruz, California.

 

About the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalists:

Daniel Alarcón author photo

DANIEL ALARCÓN
At Night We Walk in Circles
(Riverhead)

Daniel Alarcón’s At Night We Walk in Circles (Riverhead Books) is a mystery, a character study, and a political parable exploring the nature of art, love, language and the distorting effects of war. This richly layered second novel begins in the seaside capital of an unnamed Latin American country where Nelson, a recent graduate of drama school, is invited to join a subversive guerrilla theatre troupe. As Nelson and two compatriots—including Nelson’s hero, playwright Henry Nuñez—make their way through the countryside on a revival tour of Nuñez’s play “The Idiot President,” the lines between character and actor grow ever thinner. As the unreliable narrator of the novel pieces together Nelson’s story, he also paints a portrait of a troubled society in which the horrors of the past have left the hearts of the country’s people scarred like the hillsides that bear evidence of a long civil war. A heady follow-up to his lyrical story collection and first novel, At Night We Walk in Circles has garnered comparisons to Borges, Bolaño, Beckett, and Kafka. Reviewing for the New York Times, Ana Menendez hailed the book, writing: “Alarcón fulfills the promise of his two earlier books […] delivering a vibrant, ambitiously political story that derives its power from  the personal.”

Alarcón’s previous books are the story collection War By Candlelight and the novel Lost City Radio. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting award,  and recognized as one of the New Yorker’s 20 under 40, Alarcón currently lives in San Francisco.

Percival Everett author photoPERCIVAL EVERETT
Percival Everett by Virgil Russell
(Graywolf)

Within the first pages of Percival Everett’s Percival Everett by Virgil Russell (Graywolf), a father tells his son “I’ve written something for you […] Not to you, but for you. It’s something you would write, if you wrote.” Suffused with references to western philosophy, art, film, politics, and even ranch life, the central relationship of this labyrinthine novel is between father and son, though it’s not always clear just who is narrating the story. Tellingly, the first section of the novel is titled “Hesperus” and the second “Phosphorus”—two names given by the ancients to Venus as it appeared in the morning and evening sky. Just as Venus was once thought to be two distinct entities, Everett implies that the distance and differences between father and son matter little in the face of big love and devastating loss. It is the story that matters here, not who is telling it. And what a story it is. Writing for the Washington Post, Mark Athiakis called the novel, “a potent and thoughtful exploration of the bonds between fathers and children.”

The author of over 20 books—most recently the poetry collection Swimming Swimmers Swimming and Assumption: A Novel—Everett is the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction, the Dos Passos Prize, and many other honors. He lives in Los Angeles where he is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Joan Silber author photo

JOAN SILBER
Fools
(W.W. Norton & Co.)

Joan Silber’s story collection, Fools (W.W. Norton & Co.), presents six interconnected stories featuring characters walking the line between wisdom and foolishness. At the collection’s center is Vera, the narrator of the title story who entertains her young daughters with the story of her youth in mid-1920s New York, a time when she shared a Greenwich Village apartment with a group of anarchists. Later, in “Two Opinions,” Vera’s now-grown daughter attempts to fit in with World War II-era patriotic fervor by distancing herself from her parents’ outspoken anti-war views. Meanwhile, “Hanging Fruit,” follows the son of another of Vera’s anarchist cohort who, after a series of romantic misadventures takes a tragic turn, retreats to the alluring combination of alcohol and Paris, only to be brought back to sobriety, in part, by his mother’s first husband. Writing for the Boston Globe, Michael Patrick Brady notes, “The links between the stories are not just convenience or a contrivance. With brief nods to the Catholic Worker movement and Occupy Wall Street, Silber indicates that our personal happiness is intertwined with a broader social responsibility—that we are all in this together.”

Silber is the author of six previous works of fiction, as well as the nonfiction work The Art of Time in Fiction. Her short fiction has received the O. Henry Prize three times—most recently in 2013—and two Pushcart Prizes. She teaches fiction at Sarah Lawrence College and lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Valerie Trueblood author photo

VALERIE TRUEBLOOD
Search Party: Stories of Rescue
(Counterpoint Press)

Valerie Trueblood’s story collection, Search Party: Stories of Rescue (Counterpoint Press), plumbs the nature of loss and need with 13 stories that surprise in their perspectives on what it means to search and who is in need of rescue. Sometimes brief and consistently revelatory, these stories burrow deep into a range of psyches: a young babysitter caring suddenly for a sick child, a homeless family walking through empty houses, a nurse’s aid with thwarted artistic aspirations. In an aching story titled, “Think Not Bitterly of Me,” Trueblood introduces us to an older woman, Abby, who was the young victim of an abduction during the Depression. When this event becomes the subject of a film years later, Abby proudly attends the premier only to slip into a disorienting spiral of nostalgia and disgust as she watches the reel’s fragmented interpretation of her experience. She is haunted by what she has shared, and what she has withheld. “The diamond-sharp stories in Trueblood’s second collection dazzle,” proclaimed the starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. “Trueblood tells these stories from unusual angles, with precision and a depth of insight and empathy that enfold the reader into the characters’ lives.”

Trueblood is the author of a previous collection of short stories, Marry or Burn, a novel, Seven Loves, which was selected for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program, as well as numerous essays and works of journalism. She is a cotrustee of the Denise Levertov Literary Trust and is a contributing editor of the American Poetry Review. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

 

About the 2014 Judges:

Madison Smartt Bell - author photoMadison Smartt Bell is a critically acclaimed writer of more than a dozen novels and story collections including All Souls’ Rising, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award and the winner of the 1996 Anisfield-Wolf award. His numerous essays and reviews have appeared in publications including Harper’s and the New York Times Book Review. He is a professor in the English Department and Co-Director of the Kratz Center for Creative Writing at Goucher College.

 

Manuel Muñoz - author photoManuel Muñoz is the author of a novel, What You See in the Dark, and two story collections, Zigzagger and The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, which was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He is the recipient of a PEN/O. Henry Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He is currently an associate professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

 

Achy Obejas - author photoAchy Obejas is the author of five works of fiction, including the novels Ruins and Days of Awe. Her translation, into Spanish, of Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was a finalist for Spain’s Esther Benítez Translation Prize. She is a founding member of the Creative Writing faculty at the University of Chicago, a member of the Editorial Board of In These Times, and a blogger for WBEZ.org. Beginning this fall, she will be the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College in Oakland, CA.

 

Buy Copies of the Books from Politics & Prose:

Politics and Prose logoOur longtime friends and partners at Politics & Prose were on hand to sell copies of books by this year’s 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: http://www.politics-prose.com/

 

 

Listen to the Podcast:

PEN/Faulkner Podcast LogoThe 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Reading was recorded and produced as Episode 32 of the PEN/Faulkner Podcast. You can listen to this episode and others on the Podcast Page.

You can also  Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes.

 

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 34th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony will take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 7 pm. 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.

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.

 

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction - logo and text