The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award is a biennial award given to 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 the previous two calendar years. The winner receives a $10,000 prize and is honored at the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony in NYC.

Finalists

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

 

The Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America 
Patrick Phillips 
W. W. Norton and Company
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic 
Sam Quinones 
Bloomsbury Press 
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran 
Laura Secor 
Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House 
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship 
Anjan Sundaram 
Doubleday/Penguin Random House 
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

Longlist

Drinking in America: Our Secret History
Susan Cheever
Twelve/Hachette Book Group
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

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

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America 
Nancy Isenberg
Viking/Penguin Random House 
Amazon Indie Bound
 

Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help 
Larissa MacFarquhar
Penguin Press/Penguin Random House
Amazon Indie Bound
 

The Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America 
Patrick Phillips 
W. W. Norton and Company
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic 
Sam Quinones 
Bloomsbury Press 
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America
Andrés Reséndez
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

The Train to the Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II 
Jan Jarboe Russell
Scribner/Simon &Schuster 
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran 
Laura Secor 
Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House 
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship 
Anjan Sundaram 
Doubleday/Penguin Random House  
Amazon | Indie Bound

 Winner

The winner will be announced on February 22, 2017 and honored at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2017.

Judges
  Julia Angwin is an award-winning senior reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom. From 2000 to 2013, she was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal. Her book, Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance, was published by Times Books in 2014. She earned a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.

 

Rich Benjamin is the author of Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America (Hachette Books), selected as an Editor’s Choice by Booklist and The American Library Association (2009), and now in its second printing.  Rich’s cultural criticism appears regularly in public debate, including in The New York TimesThe GuardianNPRPBS, and CNN.  A venture of deep, years-long research, Rich’s current book-in-progress spans a century in topic, and involves his suing The US State Department to get unduly “classified” documents released in entirety.  He is also Senior Fellow at Demos. (Photo credit Sharon Schuster)

 

Jeff Biggers is the American Book Award-winning author of several works of history, memoir, and journalism, including State Out of the Union, selected by Publishers Weekly as a Top Ten Social Science book in 2012, and Reckoning at Eagle Creek, winner of the David Brower Award for Environmental Reporting and the Delta Prize for Literature. His most recent work is Damnatio Memoriae: A Play, Una Commedia.

 

Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter for the New York Times and the senior editor of live journalism.  Mr. Duhigg is also the author of The Power of Habit, which has spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list, and the recent Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Productivity in Life and Business.  Mr. Duhigg is a graduate of Yale University and the Harvard Business School, and a frequent contributor to This American LifeNPRThe Colbert Report, PBS’s NewsHour, and Frontline.  He was also, for one terrifying day in 1999, a bike messenger in San Francisco.

Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born to an American father and Japanese mother. Her memoir, Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye, examines grief against the backdrop of the 2011 Great East Earthquake in Japan and was a finalist for the 2016 PEN Open Book Award, Indies Choice Best Book for Nonfiction and the Northern California Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her first novel, Picking Bones from Ash, was a finalist for the Paterson Prize.

Lizzie Stark’s most recent book is Pandora’s DNA, a reported memoir about inherited breast cancer named an ALA Notable Book of 2015. Her first book, Leaving Mundania, explored the subculture of live action roleplay, a/k/a larp. Her essays and journalism have appeared in The Washington PostDaily Beast, the Today Show website, io9Fusion, and elsewhere. She works as a freelance writer, speaker, and consultant in the fields of genomics, education, patient experience, and participation design. 

 

Jessica Valenti is a columnist for the Guardian US and author of five books on feminism, politics and culture. Her latest book, Sex Object: A Memoir, was a New York Times bestseller. Valenti is also editor of the ground-breaking anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape and the founder of Feministing.com, which Columbia Journalism Review called “head and shoulders above almost any writing on women’s issues in mainstream media.” She has a Master’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

 

Past Winners

Robert Perkinson, Steve Coll, James Carroll, Katherine Boo, and Sheri Fink. 

Click here for additional information, including submission guidelines, for the award.