PEN/Faulkner 2017-2018 Season

We are pleased to share with you our exciting lineup of events for the 2017-2018 season. After thirty extraordinary years with the Folger Shakespeare Library, we are excited to expand our reading series to new locations in the city. Come join our Literary Conversations to hear today’s writers read their work and engage in discourse on today’s issues, with each event individually ticketed (or free to attend) and held at a different venue. We look forward to seeing you! Click here for more information on all events.

 

BELONGING: The 29th Annual PEN/Faulkner Celebration

BELONGING: The 29th Annual PEN/Faulkner Celebration
Monday, October 16th, 2017  |  6:00 PM

NEW LOCATION: The Showroom | 1099 14th Street, NW

On Monday, October 16th, 2017, PEN/Faulkner will hold its 29th Annual PEN/Faulkner Celebration at THE SHOWROOM in downtown Washington, DC. This annual event supports the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and our Writers in Schools programming, and features some of today’s finest authors reading works composed especially for the occasion.

This year acclaimed authors André AcimanRanda JarrarGish JenAlexander MaksikImbolo MbueAlexandra PetriRion Amilcar ScottAkhil SharmaHannah TintiD. Watkins and Master of Ceremonies Calvin Trillin will take to the Showroom’s stage to present work written on the theme of BELONGING.

Cocktails begin at 6:00 p.m. and the reading program starts at 7:00 p.m. The program will be followed by a dinner reception with chef stations featuring food prepared by local chefs.

Please note that this is no longer a seated event, and that it is no longer black tie. Tables are no longer available for purchase.

Individual tickets to the event are $500. For more information, or to purchase tickets, email rsvp@penfaulkner.org or call the PEN/Faulkner office at 202-898-9063. Tickets are also available for purchase online.

You can also listen to readings from previous PEN/Faulkner Celebrations as episodes of the PEN/Faulkner Podcast. Episode 21 comes from 2013’s “Renewal” Gala, Episode 34 comes from 2014’s “Danger” Gala, and Episode 47 features 2015’s PEN/Faulkner Celebration on the theme of “Spark.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Named 2nd Annual Eudora Welty Lecturer

Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will deliver the second annual Eudora Welty Lecture on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. Inspired by Eudora Welty’s lectures on One Writer’s Beginnings, the Eudora Welty Lecture is an original talk on the topic of a writer’s creative origins. The program is presented by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the Eudora Welty Foundation.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Photo by Wani Olatunde

 

Announcing our new Executive Director

DarlTaylor-4720FThe PEN/Faulkner Foundation is pleased to announce that Darlene Taylor is our new Executive Director.

Taylor brings experience in connecting people and organizations in initiatives they value from her previous service in the corporate sector, nonprofits, and as a senior Congressional aide. With an MFA in Creative Writing, former leadership in literary organizations, and hometown pride, she brings a passion for literature and the communities the foundation serves through its reading series, awards, and Writers in Schools programming.

“I believe literature has the power to bring people together so the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s charge to bring books to life inspires me,” Taylor said. “I look forward to being a partner in making literature accessible in classrooms and communities across the city, in bringing together diverse writers and audiences in conversations, and celebrating literature.”

Now Accepting Submissions for the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is now accepting submissions for the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction!

This year’s judges, Alex Espinoza, Stacey D’Erasmo, and Andrea Barrett, 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 2017.
  • Authors must be living American citizens.
  • Books must be published on an American 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 2017.
  • All submissions must be post-marked October 31, 2017.

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, 2018. To browse a list of past winners and finalists, click here.

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

Announcing the 2017 PEN/Malamud Award Winner

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is pleased to announce that Jhumpa Lahiri will receive the 2017 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story in an Award Ceremony & Reading held at the Folger Shakespeare Library on December 8th, 2017.

Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of four widely acclaimed works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, and The Lowland; and two works of nonfiction: In Other Words and The Clothing of Books. She translated the novel Ties by Domenico Starnone from the Italian. She has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize; the PEN/Hemingway Award; the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award; the Premio Gregor von Rezzori; the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; a 2014 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama; and the Premio Internazionale Viareggio-Versilia.

Click here for more information about the PEN/Malamud Award.

Announcing the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner

Imbolo-Mbue

Congratulations to Imbolo Mbue, winner of the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her novel Behold the Dreamers (Penguin Random House), and congratulations again to our four finalists:

Viet Dinh for After Disasters (Little A, Seattle)

Louise Erdrich for LaRose (HarperCollins)

Garth Greenwell for What Belongs to You (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)

Sunil Yapa for Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist (Little, Brown)


About the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winner and Finalists:


IMBOLO MBUE

Behold the Dreamers
(Penguin Random House)

Imbolo Mbue’s debut novel, Behold the Dreamers, covers the struggle of immigrants longing to become American citizens, the stark divide between rich and poor, and the global financial crisis following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. At the center of the novel is Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant who takes a job as a personal chauffeur for Clark Edwards, an executive at Lehman Brothers. It opens a window into a world of astounding privilege. Even as he works his way through immigration court, Jende remains aggressively optimistic about the promise of America, and soon his wife too begins working for the Edwards family. But in the days before the historic 2008 election, as Lehman Brothers declares bankruptcy, the cracks in the Edwards family begin to show — as do the things that make this country both blessed and doomed.  Michael Schaub, in his review on NPR, writes that Behold the Dreamers is a story with “no false notes, no narrative shortcuts, and certainly no manufactured happy endings.”

A native of Cameroon, Mbue currently lives in New York City.

 

Image result for viet dinh author

VIET DINH
After Disasters
(Little A, Seattle)

Viet Dinh’s After Disasters is the ambitious debut novel chronicling trauma in many forms, from ecological, to psychological, to colonial. Based loosely on the major earthquake that struck the Gujarat province in India in 2001, the novel stitches together the lives of four men who arrive to join in relief efforts. Ted is a pharmaceutical salesmen turned U.S. aid-worker; Piotr is a haunted, Bosnian War Veteran; Andy is a young British firefighter eager for action; and Dev is an Indian AIDS doctor given the impossible task of tending to quake victims without the resources or time. In their attempt to redirect the forces of death and chaos, the disaster leads all four men to confront the fault lines of desire, love, and duty, in their own lives and the lives of strangers. Heidi Hong for the Los Angeles Times Book Review writes, “Dinh’s storytelling is attuned to paradox and interconnectedness, showing us that catastrophic events can change lives irrevocably while being only one of many ongoing tragedies in a short life.”

Dinh was born in Vietnam and grew up in Colorado. He currently lives in Wilmington, Delaware and teaches in the English Department at the University of Delaware.

 

Image result for louise erdrichLOUISE ERDRICH
LaRose

(HarperCollins)

Louise Erdrich’s La Rose unfolds from a single, tragic shot. While hunting near his home on a North Dakota Ojibwe reservation one afternoon, Landreaux Iron accidently shoots his best friend’s son, Dusty. The two families, the Irons and the Ravichs, are plunged into blinding grief. But, Landreaux and his wife Emmaline arrive at an act of atonement: “Our son will be your son now,” they tell Peter Ravich, handing over a suitcase, “It’s the old way.” And so they leave their son, LaRose, to be raised in place of another boy. The story that follows traces the contours of grief—and both the possibilities and limitations of forgiveness. In his review of LaRose in The Washington Post, Ron Charles writes, “[Erdrich] gently insists that there are abiding spirits in this land and alternative ways of living and forgiving that have somehow survived the West’s best efforts to snuff them out.”

Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels, including The Round House, which won the National Book Award for Fiction, Love Medicine, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Plague of Doves, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. An enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians,  Erdrich lives in Minnesota where she is the owner of Birchbark Books.

 

GARTH GREENWELL
What Belongs to You
(Farrar, Straus, Giroux)

Garth Greenwell’s debut novel What Belongs to You begins on a downward arc. The narrator, a young American teacher living in Bulgaria, searches for anonymous sex in public bathrooms under the National Palace of Culture. There he meets a rough, captivating man named Mitko who quickly takes the narrator up on his offer. What follows is the development of a relationship so tangled that it threatens to cast the narrator’s neatly measured life into disarray. Greenwell transforms introspective material into a thrilling narrative the plumbs the depths of what it means to love, what it means to lust, and what we are and are not able to confess.  Aaron Hamburger writes in The New York Times, “‘What Belongs to You’ is a rich, important debut, an instant classic to be savored by all lovers of serious fiction because of, not despite, its subject: a gay man’s endeavor to fathom his own heart.”

Along with What Belongs to You, Greenwell is the author of the novella, Mitko, which won the 2010 Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Debut Fiction Prize and a Lambda Award. He lives in Iowa City, where he holds the Richard E. Guthrie Memorial Fellowship at the University of Iowa.

 

SUNIL YAPA
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
(Little, Brown)

In Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa tells the story of the Seattle World Trade Organization Protests of 1999 through a cast of rotating characters, evoking the human elements of a mass protest. Victor is the central character among these. A young black runaway and the estranged stepson of the white police chief presiding over the protest, Victor is hoping that the crowds gathered outside the WTO conference center will make for a pot-selling business opportunity. Other chapters are told from the perspectives of two street medics, a Sri Lankan delegate attempting to attend the conference so his country can gain admittance to the WTO, and Victor’s own estranged stepfather, Police Chief Bishop. The book displays the competing individual desires of a protest: activists who what justice, delegates who strive for economic growth, and cops who are trying to maintain order amidst perceived chaos. In The New York Times, Jenny Hendrix writes, “At the center of the novel is the same question posed by the protests themselves: What kind of world do we want, and what must we do to get it?”

Yapa is a Sri Lankan-American and lives in upstate New York


About the 2017 Judges:

Chris HeadshotChris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright.  Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria and received a BA in English from Imo State University in Nigeria, a BA in English, Gender and Culture from Birbeck College, University of London and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California.  He is the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemmingway Book Prize and Guggenheim Award.  His fiction includes The Secret History of Las VegasSong for NightThe Virgin of FlamesBecoming AbigailGraceLand, and Masters of the Board.  He has lived in the United States since 2001.

Chantel Acevedo‘s novels include Love and Ghost Letters, which won the Latino International Book Award and was a finalist for the Connecticut Book of the Year, Song of the Red Cloak, a historical novel for young adults, A Falling Star, winner of the Doris Bakwin Award and a National Bronze Medal IPPY Award, and The Distant Marvels, one of the Booklist’s Top Ten Historical Novels of 2015. THE MILK BROTHER, a novel about the Infanta Eulalia, is forthcoming in 2017.  Her fiction and poetry have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Poetry Review, North American Review, and Chattahoochee Review.  Acevedo is currently an Associate Professor of English in the MFA Program of the University of Miami.


Related imageSigrid Nunez
 is the author of the novels, A Feather on the Breath of God, a finalist for both the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction and the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Award and received the Association for Asian American Studies Award for best novel of the year, Naked Sleeper, Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury, winner of the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, For Rouenna, The Last of Her Kind, and Salvation City.  Nunez is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag.  Her new novel, The Friend, will be published by Riverhead in 2018.  Nunez has taught at Princeton, Amherst, Smith, Columbia, the New School, Boston University, and Brooklyn College, and has been a visiting writer, or a writer in residence at Washington University, Baruch, Vassar, and the University of California at Irvine, among others.  Sigrid Nunez lives in New York City.

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 2017 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 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 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony will take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 6, 2017 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.

Episode 54 – A Tribute to Robert Stone

ecrivain americain

Robert Stone wrote eight novels, as well as numerous short stories and a memoir.  In his writing, Stone vividly captured the chaos and elation of the 1960s and the darkness at the heart of American empire-building.  His novel Dog Soldiers won the National Book Award in 1975.  He was also a finalist for the Pulitzer and the PEN/Faulkner award, and served as the chairman of the PEN/Faulkner Board for over 30 years.

On May 2, 2016, we gathered at the Folger Shakespeare Library to celebrate the life and work of this remarkable man.  Authors Madison Smartt Bell, Stephen Goodwin, Lauren Groff, and Tim O’Brien joined us on stage for an evening of reminiscences and readings from his work and that of writers he influenced.

“Numerous sentences from the novels of Robert Stone are permanently lodged in my mind.  I didn’t sit down to memorize them – they’ve stayed with me because Stone… had the power of being memorable.”
– George Packer, The New Yorker

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 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists!

2017 PF Award Finalists

Judges Chris Abani, Chantel Acevedo, and Sigrid Nunez have announced their list of finalists for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 4th. Following the announcement, the 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 6th at 7:00 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Congratulations to our finalists:


Viet Dinh
, author of After Disasters

 

 

 

 

 

Louise Erdrich, author of LaRose

 

 

 

 

 

Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

 

 

 

 

 

Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers

 

 

 

 

 

Sunil Yapa, author of Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist