Deborah Eisenberg Wins 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction!




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 PRESS CONTACTS: Garland Scott, (202) 675–0342,             
Emma Snyder (202) 675-0345

Washington, DCDeborah Eisenberg’s The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg (Picador) has been selected as the winner of the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.  The announcement was made today by the directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Susan Richards Shreve and Robert Stone, Co-Chairmen.

The judgesLaura Furman, William Kittredge, and Helena Maria Viramontes—considered approximately 320 novels and short story collections by American authors published in the US during the 2010 calendar year. Submissions came from over 125 publishing houses, including small and academic presses. There is no fee for a publisher or writer to submit a book.

The honored book, The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, brings together four volumes of Eisenberg’s work: Transactions in a Foreign CurrencyUnder the 82nd AirborneAll Around Atlantis, andTwilight of the Superheroes, which was a PEN/Faulkner Finalist in 2007. Eisenberg’s stories have long been admired for their exceptional language and nuanced evocation of thought and emotion. About this collection, judge Laura Furman says, “From the first to the last of her collected stories, Deborah Eisenberg demonstrates her sharp intelligence, literary inventiveness, and her clear understanding of human interconnectedness as it exists in isolation. Eisenberg’s reader often has the feeling that her characters don’t quite understand either who they are or how they got themselves into their present fix.  The struggle of her characters to create a whole life from the shards of their experience and emotions forms the moral core of Deborah Eisenberg’s work.” The recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Deborah Eisenberg has also taught at the University of Virginia since 1994.

The PEN/Faulkner Award is America’s largest peer juried prize for fiction in the United States.  As winner, Eisenberg receives $15,000.  Each of the four finalists—Jennifer Egan for A Visit From The Goon Squad(Knopf); Jaimy Gordon for Lord of Misrule(McPherson & Co.); Eric Puchner for Model Home(Scribner); and  Brad Watson for Aliens in The Prime of Their Lives  (W.W. Norton)—receives $5,000. 

All five authors will be honored during the 31st anniversary PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library, located at 201 East Capitol Street, SE, on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $100, and can be purchased by phoning the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077, or online

The PEN/Faulkner Award was first given in 1981. Past winners include last year’s winner Sherman Alexie, and Joseph O’Neill, E.L. Doctorow, Ann Patchett, Philip Roth, John Updike, and John Edgar Wideman, among others. A full list of winners is at

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is committed to building audiences for exceptional literature and bringing writers together with their readers.  This mission is accomplished through a reading series at the Folger Shakespeare Library by distinguished writers who have won the respect of readers and writers alike; thePEN/Faulkner Award; the PEN/Malamud Award, honoring excellence in the short story; and theWriters in Schools program, which brings nationally and internationally-acclaimed authors to public high school classrooms, and to book groups of teen parents, and of incarcerated youth in Washington, DC.


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2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominees Announced!

This year’s PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominees are:

Jennifer Egan for A Visit From the Goon Squad




Deborah Eisenberg for The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg




Jaimy Gordon for Lord of Misrule




Eric Puchner for Model Home




Brad Watson for Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives





PEN/Faulkner Pizza Gala!

Your $25 ticket will support PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program 
and includes pizza, beer and wine

To RSVP email or call 202-898-9063
Tickets will also be available at the door

The 2011 Pizza Gala is sponsored by: 

Lisa and Matthew Winkler, Shelley Brazier and Tom Williamson, Rebecca Cross and Max MacKenzie, Emma Coleman Jordan, Reamy Ancarrow and Michael Forscey, Therese Droste, Jacqueline Adams, Gary Zizka and Mary Kay Zuravleff, Susan Shreve and Tim Seldes, Robert and Barbara Liotta, Marian Holmes and Glenn McNatt, Peter and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, and Shreve Williams Public Relations

Beverages donated by Diageo – Please drink responsibly

*A special thank you to James Alefantis and Comet Ping Pong*