Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PEN / Faulkner Award Nominees

The nominees have been announced for the PEN / Faulkner Award.

War Dances, by Sherman Alexie
The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories, by Lorraine M. Lopez
A Gate at the Stairs, by Lorrie Moore
Sag Harbor, by Colson Whitehead

I'll cop to not paying much attention to non-genre awards that aren't the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. But, when I saw the nominee list and noticed Kingsolver was on it, I realized I should really pay a bit more attention to PEN / Faulkner. In the past I've noticed that books that I was reading and enjoying the hell out of also had the PEN / Faulkner Award stamped on the cover of the book.
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 judges, chosen annually by the directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, select five books from among the more than 300 works submitted, making this the largest peer-juried award in the country. The winning writer and four finalists are honored at a ceremony held in Washington at the Folger Shakespeare Library in May.

Some previous winners
Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett (2002)
The Human Stain, by Philip Roth (2001)
Mao II, by Don DeLillo (1992)

Factor the nominees in, and you've got one hell of a reading list. I was convinced that Louise Erdrich had previously been nominated, but I can't see that she was. Weird.


William Preston said...

I'd say the PEN/Faulkner Award is more reliable than the Pulitzer. Look back at previous Pulitzer winners (in fiction) and ask yourself, "Really?"

Bill Preston

Joe said...

Oh, I tend not to be too excited about the Pulitzers. I pay attention to them and there have been some outstanding choices (Interpreter of Maladies? A Thousand Acres? Love them both) - but as a whole - shrug. It's a reading list.