PEN American Center releases 2014 literary award shortlists

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Today, the PEN American Center—the largest branch of the PEN International organization—released shortlists for nine of its literary prizes today, and some of the names among them are Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls author David Sedaris, Forty-one False Starts author Janet Malcolm, and The Sports Gene author David Epstein.

PEN presents awards in categories ranging from best debut work to best work of poetry in translation, and today’s shortlists are culled from longlists announced earlier this year. The announcement doesn’t cover the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award for the best work of fiction by an American author or the PEN/Malamud Award for a short story author. The Faulkner Award went to Karen Joy Fowler for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and the Malamud Award hasn’t been announced yet.

From PEN America’s website, here are the full shortlists. The winners will be announced on July 30th.

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000): To an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2013—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

Judges: Charles Bock, Jonathan Dee, Fiona Maazel, and Karen Shepard

  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth), Anthony Marra
  • Brief Encounters With the Enemy (The Dial Press), Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
  • Everybody’s Irish (FiveChapters Books), Ian Stansel
  • Godforsaken Idaho (Little A/New Harvest), Shawn Vestal
  • The People in the Trees (Doubleday), Hanya Yanagihara

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2013 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.

Judges: Geoff Dyer, Stanley Fish, Ariel Levy, and Cheryl Strayed

  • Forty-One False Starts (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Janet Malcolm
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls (Little, Brown and Company), David Sedaris
  • The Faraway Nearby (Viking Adult), Rebecca Solnit
  • Critical Mass (Doubleday), James Wolcott

PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000): For a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences published in 2013.

Judges: Akiko Busch, Rivka Galchen, and Eileen Pollack

  • The End of Night (Little, Brown and Company), Paul Bogard
  • Five Days at Memorial (Crown), Sheri Fink
  • High Price (Harper), Carl Hart
  • Surfaces and Essences (Basic Books), Douglas Hofstadter & Emmanuel Sander
  • Wild Ones (Penguin Press), Jon Mooallem

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2013.

Judges: Catherine Chung, Randa Jarrar, and Monica Youn

  • Duppy Conqueror (Copper Canyon Press), Kwame Dawes
  • Leaving Tulsa (University of Arizona Press), Jennifer Elise Foerster
  • domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press), Ruth Ellen Kocher
  • Cowboys and East Indians (FiveChapters Books), Nina McConigley
  • Ghana Must Go (Penguin Press), Taiye Selasi

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in 2013.

Judges: James Atlas, Lisa Cohen, and Wendy Gimbel

  • Lawrence in Arabia (Doubleday), Scott Anderson
  • Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Linda Leavell
  • Margaret Fuller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Megan Marshall
  • American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Deborah Solomon
  • A Life of Barbara Stanwyck (Simon & Schuster), Victoria Wilson

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2013.

Judges: Joel Drucker, Chad Harbach, and Jackie MacMullan

  • Collision Low Crossers (Little, Brown and Company), Nicholas Dawidoff
  • The Sports Gene (Current), David Epstein
  • League of Denial (Crown Archetype), Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru
  • The Emerald Mile (Scribner), Kevin Fedarko
  • Their Life’s Work (Simon & Schuster), Gary M. Pomerantz

PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ($5,000): To a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book published in 2013.

Judges: Mac Barnett, Ted Lewin, and Elizabeth Winthrop

  • Train (Orchard Books), Elisha Cooper
  • Tea Party Rules (Viking), Ame Dyckman
  • The King of Little Things (Peachtree Publishers), Bil Lepp
  • Crabtree (McSweeney’s McMullens), Jon & Tucker Nichols

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2013.

Judge: Kimiko Hahn

  • Even Now: Poems by Hugo Claus (Archipelago), David Colmer
  • Diaries of Exile by Yannis Ritsos (Archipelago), Karen Emmerich & Edmund Keeley
  • Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson by Yosa Buson (Copper Canyon Press), Takako Lento & W.S. Merwin
  • Paul Klee’s Boat by Anzhelina Polonskaya (Zephyr Press), Andrew Wachtel
  • Cut These Words Into My Stone: Ancient Greek Epitaphs (Johns Hopkins University Press), Michael Wolfe

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2013.

Judges: Ann Goldstein, Becka McKay, and Katherine Silver

  • An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman (New York Review Books), Elizabeth & Robert Chandler
  • Transit by Anna Seghers (New York Review Books), Margot Bettauer Dembo
  • The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa (Yale University Press), Jeffrey Gray
  • The Emperor’s Tomb by Joseph Roth (New Directions), Michael Hofmann
  • Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (New York Review Books), Joanne Turnbull & Nikolai Formozov

 

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