2017 PEN America Literary Awards Finalists
PEN America is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards. These shortlists showcase 50 exceptional literary works chosen by our esteemed judging panels. With the addition of four new prizes, this year’s awards will be the largest ever, conferring nearly $315,000 to writers and translators spanning the fields of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essay, translation, and more.
The winners for all 2017 awards will be announced on February 22, with a few notable exceptions. Winners of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature will be announced live on March 27 at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony, which will be held for the first time at The New School’s John L. Tishman Auditorium in Manhattan.
2017 PEN AMERICA LITERARY AWARDS FINALISTS
PEN/Jean Stein Book Award ($75,000): To recognize a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact.
JUDGES: The judges are anonymous. Their names will be announced at a later date.
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction ($25,000): To an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2016—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.
JUDGES: Jami Attenberg, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Randall Kenan, Hanna Pylväinen, and Akhil Sharma
PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2016 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.
JUDGES: Eula Biss, Kiese Laymon, and Paul Steiger
PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000): To an author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction published in 2015 or 2016 possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues.
JUDGES: Julia Angwin, Rich Benjamin, Jeff Biggers, Charles Duhigg, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Lizzie Stark, and Jessica Valenti
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 2016.
JUDGES: Emily Anthes, Amy Ellis Nutt, Robin Marantz Henig, and Emma Marris
PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2016.
JUDGES: Ishmael Beah, Major Jackson, and Bich Minh Nguyen
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2016.
JUDGES: Jay Caspian Kang, Juliet Macur, and David Owen
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in 2016.
JUDGES: Evelyn C. White, Joyce Johnson, and Yunte Huang
PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2016.
JUDGES: Mara Faye Lethem, Jeremy Tiang, Elizabeth Lowe, Annie Tucker, and Dennis Washburn
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2016.
JUDGES: Jennifer Grotz, Kyoo Lee, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips
2017 CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AND MANUSCRIPT AWARDS
(The following awards do not have finalists.)
PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature ($50,000): To a writer of any genre and of any nationality for their exceptional body of work.
JUDGES: Aravind Adiga, Ayad Akhtar, Robin Coste Lewis, Jessica Hagedorn, and Thrity Umrigar
PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers ($2,000 to 12 writers): To recognize 12 emerging fiction writers for their debut short story published in 2016.
JUDGES: Marie-Helene Bertino, Kelly Link, and Nina McConigley
PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History ($10,000): For a literary work of nonfiction that uses oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place or movement.
JUDGES: Gaiutra Bahadur, Helen Epstein, and Dan Kennedy
PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards ($7,500 and $2,500): Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, American Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging American Playwright.
JUDGES: Oskar Eustis, Michael C. Hall, and Young Jean Lee
PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry ($5,000): For an emerging American poet of any age showing promise of further literary achievement.
JUDGES: Camille Dungy, Ada Limón, and Patrick Phillips
PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): For a writer whose body of work represents an exceptional contribution to the field.
JUDGES: Pete Hamill, Sally Jenkins, and Michael Sokolove
PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000): For an author of a children’s or young-adult fiction to complete a book-length work-in-progress.
JUDGES: Margarita Engle, Sharyn November, and Polly Shulman
PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing ($2,500): For a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits.
JUDGES: Michael Dumanis, Caitlin McKenna, and David L. Ulin
PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000-$4,000): To support the translation of book-length works into English. PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature ($5,000): To a translator for a work-in-progress of a book-length translation of an Italian work of literary fiction or nonfiction into English.
JUDGES: Tyan Kogane, Edna McCrown, Fiona McCrae, Canaan Morse, Idra Novey, Allison Markin Powell, Antonio Romani, Chip Rossetti, Shabham Nadiya, and Ross Ufberg