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Shortlists Announced for the 2013 PEN Literary Awards

July 10, 2013

Contacts:

Paul W. Morris, 212-334-1660, ext. 108, paul@pen.org
Arielle Anema, 212-334-1660, ext. 126, arielle@pen.org


PEN AMERICAN CENTER ANNOUNCES SHORTLISTS AND JUDGES FOR THE 2013 PEN LITERARY AWARDS


New York City, July 11, 2013—PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world’s leading literary and human rights organization, announced today the shortlists and judges for the 2013 PEN Literary Awards. For more than 50 years, these awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across such diverse fields as fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, and drama. With the help of its partners and supporters, PEN will confer 16 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes in 2013, awarding nearly $150,000 to writers, editors, and translators.

This year, PEN is celebrating its shortlisted writers and their books, as well as the critical acumen of all its distinguished judges (over 45 in all) who selected them, in advance of the announcement of the final winners later this summer. As PEN’s membership base is broadening, so too are the writers chosen to judge these awards. This year’s panels feature an array of younger, more diverse authors, and their shortlist selections reflect their tastes accordingly.

“We are proud that PEN’s Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the country,” said PEN Executive Director, Suzanne Nossel. “This year we saw a record number of submissions from both traditional and independent publishers, including an impressive showing of emerging authors—a true testament to the impact these awards have on the literary community, at home and abroad. For this reason, we have decided to release the shortlists and to highlight the hard work of our dedicated judges, so that the recognition that accompanies PEN's awards program can benefit as many writers as possible. Writers supporting writers and standing together on behalf of free expression are the core of PEN's mission. Our Literary Awards unite our community to celebrate the greatest achievements that creative freedom makes possible.”

Alice Quinn, Chair of PEN’s Literary Awards Committee, added, “We want to applaud the work of our judges, anchors of this whole process, as well as the wide array of excellence represented by their superb choices and their lively shortlists. It’s all a great tribute to a strong year in contemporary literature, journalism, and translation.”

The final winners and runners-up will be announced later this summer and will be honored at the 2013 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on Monday, October 21, 2013, at CUNY Graduate Center’s Proshansky Auditorium in New York City.

The 2013 PEN Literary Awards are made possible through the generous support of PEN's many donors: Amazon.com, Kathleen Beckett and Steven Kroll, the family of Robert W. Bingham, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Carl Spielvogel, ESPN, Harrison Ford, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, The Kaplen Foundation, the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, Phyllis Naylor, The Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, the Estate of Rochelle Ratner, Dr. Edward O. Wilson and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, Gerald Weales, and Jacqueline Bograd Weld and Rodman L. Drake.



2013 SHORTLISTS AND JUDGES


PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000): To an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2012—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

Judges: Tom Drury, Danielle Evans, and Donald Ray Pollock

Shortlist:

A Land More Kind Than Home (William Morrow), Wiley Cash

A Naked Singularity (University of Chicago Press), Sergio de la Pava

My Only Wife (Dzanc Books), Jac Jemc

Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain (W.W. Norton & Co.), Lucia Perillo

Battleborn (Riverhead Books), Claire Vaye Watkins

 

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000): To an author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues which has been published in the United States during 2011 or 2012.

Judges: Eliza Griswold, Maya Jasanoff, and Edward Mendelson

Shortlist:

Iron Curtain (Doubleday), Anne Applebaum

Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Random House), Katherine Boo

Moby-Duck (Penguin Books), Donovan Hohn

God’s Hotel (Riverhead Books), Victoria Sweet

 

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2012 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.

Judges: Sven Birkerts, Robert Gottlieb, and Mark Kramer

Shortlist:

What Light Can Do (Ecco), Robert Hass

The Story of America (Princeton University Press), Jill Lepore

Waiting for the Barbarians (New York Review Books), Daniel Mendelsohn

 

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 2012.

Judges: Deborah Blum, Katherine Bouton, and Jerome Groopman

Shortlist:

The Forest Unseen (Viking), David George Haskell

The Violinist’s Thumb (Little, Brown and Company), Sam Kean

Subliminal (Vintage Books), Leonard Mlodinow

Spillover (W.W. Norton & Co.), David Quammen

Rabid (Viking), Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy

 

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2012.

Judges: Cyrus Cassells, Porochista Khakpour, and Tiphanie Yanique

Shortlist:

Gun Dealers’ Daughter (W.W.  Norton & Co.), Gina Apostol

When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press), Natalie Diaz

Allegiance (Wayne State University Press), Francine J. Harris

Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press), Brenda Shaughnessy

The Grey Album (Graywolf Press), Kevin Young

 

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in 2012.

Judges: Debby Applegate, Peter Orner, and Charles Shields

Shortlist:

James Joyce (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Gordon Bowker

All We Know (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Lisa Cohen

A Difficult Woman (Bloomsbury), Alice Kessler-Harris

The Lives of Margaret Fuller (W.W. Norton & Co.), John Matteson

The Black Count (Broadway Books), Tom Reiss

 

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2012.

Judges: Jane Leavy, William Leitch, and Ben McGrath

Shortlist:

Over Time (Grove Press), Frank Deford

Road to Valor (Broadway Books), Aili and Andres McConnon

Like Any Normal Day (St. Martin’s Press), Mark Kram, Jr.

Floyd Patterson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), W.K. Stratton

 

PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ($5,000): To a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book published in 2012.

Judges: Barbara Shook Hazen, David Wiesner, and Cheryl Willis Hudson

Shortlist:

Snakes (Scholastic), Nic Bishop

Oh, No! (Schwartz & Wade Books), Candace Fleming and illustrator Eric Rohmann

I Lay My Stitches Down (Eerdmans), Cynthia Grady and illustrator Michele Wood

Those Rebels, John & Tom (Scholastic), Barbara Kerley and illustrator Edwin Fotheringham

The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau (Eerdmans), Michelle Markel and illustrator Amanda Hall

 

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2012.

Judge: Don Mee Choi

Shortlist:

Spit Temple by Cecilia Vicuña (Ugly Duckling Presse), Rosa Alcalá

Diadem by Marosa di Giorgio (BOA Editions), Adam Giannelli

Tales of a Severed Head by Rachida Madani (Yale University Press), Marilyn Hacker

The Smoke of Distant Fires by Eduardo Chirinos (Open Letter Books), G. J. Racz

Almost 1 Book/Almost 1 Life by Elfriede Czurda (Burning Deck), Rosmarie Waldrop

The Shock of the Lenders and Other Poems by Jorge Santiago Perednik (Action Books), Molly Weigel

 

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2012.

Judge: Margaret Carson, Bill Johnston, and Alex Zucker

Shortlist:

A Long Day’s Evening by Bilge Karasu (City Lights Books), Aron Aji and Fred Stark

Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector (New Directions), Alison Entrekin

Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Rosalind Harvey

The Cardboard House by Martín Adán (New Directions), Katherine Silver

The Island of Second Sight by Albert Vigoleis Thelen (Overlook Press), Donald O. White



2013 CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS AND JUDGES


(The following PEN Awards do not have shortlists but are listed below to announce the participation of those authors who are judging the awards. The winners will be announced in August along with all of the winners for the book awards.)

 

PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry ($5,000): To a new and emerging poet of any age who has not published more than one book of poetry.

Judges: Henri Cole, Dorianne Laux, and Robert Wrigley

 

PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award For an American Playwright in Mid-Career and a Master American Dramatist ($7,500): A pair of awards, which honor a Master American Dramatist and an American Playwright in Mid-Career.

Judges: Pam MacKinnon, Christopher McElroen, and Tim McHenry

 

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000): To an author of children’s or young-adult fiction, who has published at least two novels, to complete a book-length work-in-progress.

Judges: Deborah Heiligman, Angela Johnson, Julie Anne Peters

 

PEN/Nora Magid Award ($2,500): To honor a magazine editor whose high literary taste have, throughout his or her career, contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits.

Judges: Jin Auh, Robin Desser, and Anna Holmes

 

PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To a writer whose body of work represents an exceptional contribution to the field.

Judges: David Granger, Laura Hillenbrand, and Steve Isenberg

 

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000-$4,000):  To support the translation of book-length works into English.

Judges: Susan Bernofsky, Barbara Epler, Michael F. Moore*, Richard Sieburth, Lauren Wein, Eliot Weinberger, Natasha Wimmer, and Matvei Yankelevich (*Non-voting chair of the PEN Translation Fund Advisory Council.)

***

For a list of last year's 2012 PEN Literary Awards winners and runners-up, please go here. PEN will begin accepting submissions for 2014 Awards on October 1, 2013. For a list of all 2014 PEN Awards and information about submission guidelines, please go here. For questions about any of the awards, write to awards@pen.org. For questions about the shortlisted titles or the upcoming announcement of the winners, please contact Paul W. Morris, PEN’s Director of Literary Awards, Membership, & Marketing, at: paul@pen.org.

 
About PEN American Center
 

PEN American Center is the largest of the 145 centers of PEN International, the world’s leading human rights and international literary organization. PEN International was founded in 1921 to dispel national, ethnic, and racial tensions and to promote understanding among all countries. PEN American Center, founded a year later, works to advance literature, to defend free expression, and to foster international literary fellowship. Its 2,000 distinguished members carry on the achievements in literature and advancement of human rights of such past members as James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, Arthur Miller, Marianne Moore, Eugene O’Neill, Susan Sontag, and John Steinbeck. To learn more about the PEN American Center, please visit: www.pen.org.