2017 PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY
Angela Morales for The Girls in My Town (University of New Mexico Press)
The PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay aims to preserve the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature. The winner receives a $10,000 prize and will be honored at the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony.
From the Judges’ Citation
The Girls in My Town is the work of a masterful writer who is adept at the art of implication. The elegantly structured essays in this collection illuminate the politics of everyday life with quiet wit and real humanity. California’s Central Valley is lovingly rendered here, as are the lives of women, in bowling alleys and appliance stores, in maternity wards and community college classrooms. Angela Morales writes with nuance, humility, and bold feminism about life and death, love and anger, and striving to find a place to belong.
Eula Biss is the author of On Immunity: An Inoculation, which was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by the New York Times Book Review, as well as Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 2010, and The Balloonists.
Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, three essays of which have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic’s Best Essays of 2013. Laymon has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy and the novel called And So On, which can be expected in 2017, both from Scribner. He is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi.
Paul Steiger was the founding editor-in-chief and CEO of ProPublica from 2008 through 2012. As its executive chairman, he consults with management on business and editorial matters. Steiger was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 2007. During his tenure as top editor at each organization, members of the Journal’s newsroom staff were awarded 16 Pulitzer Prizes, and ProPublica’s reporters received two. A Yale graduate, he is a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and treasurer of the Global Editors Network.
Bernard Knox, Martha Nussbaum, David B. Morris, Frederick Crews, Stanley Fish, John Brinckerhoff Jackson, Thomas Nagel, Cynthia Ozick, Adam Hochschild, Marilynne Robinson, Annie Dillard, David Quammen, David Bromwich, William H. Gass, Stewart Justman, Mark Slouka, Christopher Hitchens, Robert Hass, James Wolcott, Ian Buruma, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Click here for additional information, including submission guidelines, for the award.