PEN America is thrilled to announce the winners for its 2017 PEN America Literary Awards. This year’s awards will confer over $300,000 to writers and translators for their exceptional literary works and careers across the fields of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, translation, and more. 

2017 PEN AMERICA LITERARY AWARDS WINNERS

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 

WINNER:

 Adonis 

 

 

 

 

PEN/Jean Stein Book Award ($75,000): To recognize a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact. 

JUDGES: Sonali Deraniyagala, Carolyn Forché, Gregory Pardlo, Norman Rush, and Deborah Treisman 

WINNER:

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between
Hisham Matar
Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

 

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

WINNER: 

Insurrections
Rion Amilcar Scott
University Press of Kentucky
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

 

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

WINNER: 

The Girls in My Town
Angela Morales
University of New Mexico Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

 

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

WINNER:

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City 
Matthew Desmond 
Crown/Penguin Random House 
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

 

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

 

Master American Dramatist:

WINNER: Suzan-Lori Parks

 

 

American Playwright in Mid-Career:

WINNER: Tarell Alvin McCraney

 

 

 

Emerging American Playwright:

WINNER: Thomas Bradshaw

 

 

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

WINNER:

Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets
Luke Dittrich
Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound 

 

 

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

WINNER:

How Did You Get Here?:Tales of Displacement
Aleksandar Hemon 

 

 


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

WINNER: 

 

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
Helen Oyeyemi
Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House
Amazon | IndieBound

 

 

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

WINNER:

Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary
Joe Jackson
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

 

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

WINNER:
Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA

Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss
Portfolio/Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound 

 

 

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

WINNER:


Bill Nack


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

WINNER:

 

The Verging Cities
Natalie Scenters-Zapico
Center For Literary Publishing/Colorado State University
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

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

WINNER:

 

Finding a Home at the End of the World
Phillippe Diederich
(work in progress)

 

 

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

WINNER:

Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap
Archipelago Books
translated from the German by Tess Lewis
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

 

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

WINNER: 

 

Pearl: A New Verse Translation by The Pearl Poet
Liveright/W. W. Norton &Company
translated from the Middle English by Simon Armitage
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

 

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

WINNERS:

Michael Archer and Joel Whitney for Guernica

 

 

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

WINNERS: 

“Galina” (Fifth Wednesday Journal),  Angela Ajayi 
“The Handler” (Southwest Review),  Amber Caron 
“Tell Me, Please” (The Common), Emily Chammah 
“The Asphodel Meadow” (The Summerset Review), Jim Cole 
“Solee” (The Southern Review), Crystal Hana Kim 
“The Manual Alphabet” (Fence), Samuel Clare Knights 
“Goldhawk” (The Malahat Review), Katherine Magyarody 
“A Modern Marriage” (Boston Review), Grace Oluseyi 
“1,000-Year-Old Ghosts” (Hyphen Magazine), Laura Chow Reeve 
“State Facts for the New Age” (The Rumpus), Amy Sauber 
“A Message” (Epiphany: A Literary Journal), Ruth Serven 
“Edwin Chase of Nantucket” (Harvard Review), Ben Shattuck  

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000-$4,000) &  PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature ($5,000). Judges: Tynan Kogane, Edna McCown, Fiona McCrae, Canaan Morse, Idra Novey, Allison Markin Powell, Antonio Romani, Chip Rossetti, and Shabnam Nadiya

JUDGES: Tyan Kogane, Edna McCrown, Fiona McCrae, Canaan Morse, Idra Novey, Allison Markin Powell, Antonio Romani, Chip Rossetti, Shabham Nadiya, and Ross Ufberg

WINNERS:

Floral Mutter by YA Shi (哑石) translated from the Chinese by Nick Admussen
The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky by Misumi Kubo, translated from the Japenese by Polly Barton 
The Palimpsests by Aleksandra Lun, translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer 
Felix Austria by Sophia Andrukhovych, translated from the Ukrainian by Vitaly Chernetsky 
Raoul Schrott: Selected Poems, translated from the German by Iain Galbraith
Edinburgh Notebook by Valerie Mejer Caso, translated from the Spanish by Michelle Gil-Montero
The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes 
Thirteen Months of Sunrises by Rania Mamoun, translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette 
The Arab by Pooneh Rohi, translated from the Swedish by Kira Josefsson 
I Didn’t Talk by Beatriz Bracher, translated from the Portuguese by Adam Morris 
A Parade by Nhã Thuyên, translated from the Vietnamese by Kaitlin Rees 
Wûf by Kemal Varol, translated from the Turkish by Dayla Rogers 
In Your Name by Mauro Covacich, translated from the Italian by Christopher Tamigi 
There’s a Carnival Today by Indra Bahadur Rai, translated from the Nepali by Manjushree Thapa 
This Land That Is Like You by Tobie Nathan, translated from the French by Joyce Zonana 

At the 2017 ceremony PEN America will also honor the 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant recipients

PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature:  
Ithaca Forever by Luigi Malerba, translated from the Italian by Douglas Heise