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The PEN/Faulkner Award

The Prizes

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Edited: Mar 24, 2011, 5:33pm Top

"Founded by writers in 1980, and named for William Faulkner, who used his Nobel Prize funds to create an award for young writers, and PEN, the international writers’ organization, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation brings together American writers and readers in a wide variety of programs to promote a love of literature."

"The Directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation each year choose three noted writers of fiction to select the winner and four finalists for the Awards among the approximately 300 novels and short story collections submitted. The winner, or “first among equals,” receives $15,000; each of the others receives $5,000, making PEN/Faulkner the largest peer-juried award for fiction in the United States."

From the website... http://www.penfaulkner.org


2011:The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg
2010 War Dances by Sherman Alexie
2009: Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
2008: The Great Man by Kate Christensen
2007: Everyman by Philip Roth
2006 The March by E. L. Doctorow
2005 War Trash by Ha Jin
2004 The Early Stories: 1953-1975 by John Updike
2003 The Caprices by Sabina Murray
2002 Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
2001 The Human Stain by Philip Roth
2000 Waiting by Ha Jin

There are also winners for short story collection (PEN/Malamud Award)

edited to update list.

Nov 26, 2006, 9:02pm Top

I have never heard of Ha Jin. Can anyone enlighten me?

Nov 27, 2006, 4:05am Top

amanda, Ha Jin is a wonderful writer, and War Trash his best book. He was born in China, even served in the Chinese army for several years, emigrated to America, and is now teaching on the East Coast. He writes in English only, and his novel Waiting won the US National Book Award in 1999.

Nov 27, 2006, 8:53pm Top

ditto on the Ha Jin recommendations, although I'm behind a couple of books.

Although I don't strictly read from these lists, I do like to see the nominations. Sometimes, it adds weight to one title or another when I'm deciding what to read next...

Nov 28, 2006, 1:58am Top

Thanks Louis, I will order Waiting

Sep 23, 2007, 9:49am Top

**2007 WINNER**
Everyman by Philip Roth

Sep 23, 2007, 6:25pm Top

Waiting is my favorite contemporary Chinese novel.

Sep 24, 2007, 5:53am Top

I was going to say I enjoyed Everyman but enjoyed isn't quite right, it is a slightly uncomfortable read as it relates a man's death (and life) through his physical failings of his body.

Nov 14, 2007, 6:38pm Top

I despised Everyman.

Edited: Mar 27, 2008, 1:56am Top

The winner of the 2008 Pen-Faulkner is Kate Christensen and The Great Man. Has anyone read it?

The finalists were:

* Annie Dillard, The Maytrees
* David Leavitt, The Indian Clerk
* T.M. McNally, The Gateway: Stories
* Ron Rash, Chemistry and Other Stories

Mar 29, 2008, 10:57pm Top

I've read a Ron Rash - his novel had a great sense of place; North Carolina mountains, I believe. And I have the second novel, I think, in the TBR pile.

Mar 30, 2008, 10:31am Top

Sad to say, I never heard of The Great Man. As for Ha Jin, I've only read The Crazed, so I'll have to look for the others.

Mar 31, 2008, 9:33am Top

I missed the winner in post#10..duh! I also have not heard of this book. Here's a review of it:

From The New Yorker
At the center of this snippy comedy of manners is a New York-based painter and philanderer, Oscar Feldman, whose oeuvre consists of boldly rendered female nudes. That Oscar has been dead for a few years barely matters to the constellation of elderly women in his orbit: his long-suffering wife, Abigail, who rarely leaves her Upper West Side apartment; Teddy, his soignée bohemian mistress, moldering in Greenpoint; his sister Maxine, an abstract painter who is equally preoccupied with female flesh, and considered by some a greater talent. When two feckless biographers descend, looking for the inside scoop, Oscar’s big secret, hanging in plain view, becomes a vehicle for both rapprochement and revelation. Christensen addresses topics like gender and race with overly broad strokes, but her picture of three women coping with the indignities and the pleasures of old age is satisfyingly detailed.

Edited: Apr 5, 2008, 2:28am Top

Finished The Great Man and not terribly impressed, although I know this flies in the face of many very positive reviews. If you are interested in my rather negative take, the review is here

Edited: Feb 26, 2009, 10:44am Top

Feb 26, 2009, 12:21pm Top

Thanks for posting the list, kidzdoc.

Out of that list I have only read Netherland (excellent read) and Lush Life (a very male book which my hubbie loved and I could not quite enjoy).

Feb 27, 2009, 8:54pm Top

Oh good. I have that in my TBR pile.

Feb 27, 2009, 9:08pm Top

I enjoyed Netherland, too. I have A Person of Interest, but haven't read it yet, and I don't have any of the others.

Feb 28, 2009, 12:24am Top

Serena is the baddest, meanest, coldest, testosterone driven-est woman to appear in fiction recently. A lot of people won't like her. I kinda did. Even tho' she's gotta an evil streak. Or several of them. The book has some good environmental and descriptive nature writing to go along with Serena being her own bad self.

Feb 25, 2010, 11:20am Top

The finalists for this year's award were announced on Tuesday:

Sherman Alexie for War Dances

Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna

Lorraine M. López for Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories

Lorrie Moore for A Gate at the Stairs

Colson Whitehead for Sag Harbor

"The winner, who will receive $15,000, will be announced on March 23; the four finalists will receive $5,000 each."


Feb 25, 2010, 4:37pm Top

Thanks, Darryl. Somehow I missed the announcement that Netherland won last year; I'm glad to see that, because I loved it. Haven't read anything on this year's list, but some of them sound interesting.

Feb 25, 2010, 5:10pm Top

I have A Gate at the Stairs and Sag Harbor. I'll have to ask my friend's wife tomorrow what she thought of A Gate at the Stairs. Moore teaches at the U. of Wisconsin-Madison, and I'm flying to Madison tomorrow afternoon. I hadn't heard of Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories, but I'll check it out if we go to a bookstore this weekend.

Mar 16, 2010, 9:12am Top

Another reason for me to get to Sag Harbor...now where did I put that?...

Edited: Apr 15, 2010, 8:07am Top

War Dances is this year's winner. I take this opportunity to recommend a finalist from 2005, which I am currently reading-- I Got Somebody in Staunton by William Henry Lewis. A collection of short fiction that surely deserves the association with Faulkner, for The Past is as much a character in these stories as the narrator himself.

Mar 6, 2011, 6:34am Top

The five finalists for this year's award were announced last week:

Jennifer Egan, A Visit From the Goon Squad
Deborah Eisenberg, The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg
Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule
Eric Puchner, Model Home
Brad Watson, Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives

The winner of the $15,000 award will be announced on March 15th.

More info: http://www.penfaulkner.org/site/assets/docs/2011_PF_AWARD_FINALISTS.pdf

Mar 6, 2011, 7:32am Top

I've read the Egan and the Gordon, and both made my list of best of 2010. I've also read some stories by Eisenberg and didn't really like them, but I've never heard of either Model Home or Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives (great title!).

Mar 7, 2011, 7:47am Top

Well, I'll go for one of Rebecca's favourites, which I have not read - Lord of Misrule. Bad touchstone.

Mar 15, 2011, 10:32pm Top

Mar 16, 2011, 11:25am Top

27 Amanda, you do know you can edit touchstones, don't you? Click on the little link that says "others" and you'll get a drop down list with other choices -- usually, but not always, the correct one is there.

Mar 17, 2011, 8:25am Top

Thanks Rebecca. I didn't know that.

Apr 13, 2012, 2:43pm Top

I loved Buddha in the Attic. It was a 5 star read for me last year.

Mar 8, 2014, 5:46pm Top

The list of finalists for this year's award was announced earlier this week.

Daniel Alarcón, At Night We Walk in Circles
Percival Everett, Percival Everett by Virgil Russell
Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Joan Silber, Fools: Stories
Valerie Trueblood, Search Party: Stories of Rescue

The winner will be announced on April 2nd. More info: http://www.penfaulkner.org/award-for-fiction/

Edited: Mar 9, 2014, 11:14am Top

Oh, I really liked Fools! Glad to see Joan Silber nominated--she is awesome!

Mar 9, 2014, 11:11am Top

The only one from this year's list that I've read is At Night We Walk in Circles, and it just didn't work for me. I have to admit that I was often bored reading it. That probably reflects badly on me as a reader much more than it reflects the author's capabilities.

Mar 24, 2015, 5:15am Top

The finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Prize are:

Jeffery Renard Allen, “Song of the Shank
Jennifer Clement, “Prayers for the Stolen
Atticus Lish, “Preparation for the Next Life
Jenny Offill, “Dept. of Speculation
Emily St. John Mandel, "Station Eleven"

The winner, who will receive $15,000, will be announced on April 7

Jul 19, 2015, 9:27am Top

Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish won the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Prize this year.

Aug 4, 2016, 8:02am Top

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction 2016
Congratulations to James Hannaham, winner of the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his novel, DELICIOUS FOODS. The 36th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 7:00pm at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Group: The Prizes

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