Announcing the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Longlists

PEN America is thrilled to announce the longlists for the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards. Our awards are juried by panels of esteemed, award-winning writers, editors, booksellers, and critics. Learn more about each of the PEN America Literary Awards judges here.

This year’s awards will confer nearly $315,000 to writers and translators whose exceptional literary works were published in 2017. Spanning fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essays, science writing, sports writing, translation, and more, these longlisted books are bound to help you fulfill your gift giving needs in time for the holiday season.

The finalists for all book awards will be announced in January 2018. The winners will be celebrated at the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on February 20 at the NYU Skirball Center in NYC.  Save the 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 2017—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

Sonora, Hannah Lillith Assadi (Soho Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Man Who Shot Out My Eye is Dead: Stories, Chanelle Benz (Ecco)
IndieBound | Amazon

Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, Venita Blackburn (University of Nebraska Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

What Counts as Love, Marian Crotty (University of Iowa Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

History of Wolves,
Emily Fridlund
(Atlantic Monthly Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

Cardinal and Other Stories, Alex Higley (Tailwinds Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories, Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

A Thousand Distant Radios, Woody Skinner (Atelier26 Books)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, Cherise Wolas (Flatiron Books)
IndieBound | Amazon

Sour Heart, Jenny Zhang (Lenny)
IndieBound | Amazon

 

JUDGES: Mia Alvar, Rion Amilcar Scott, Justin Torres, Claire Vaye Watkins

PEN Open Book Award

To an exceptional book-length work of any genre by an author of color, published in the United States in 2017.

Some Say The Lark, Jennifer Chang (Alice James)
IndieBound | Amazon

Eastman Was Here, Alex Gilvarry (Viking)
IndieBound | Amazon

My Soul Looks Back: A Memoir, Jessica B. Harris (Scribner)
IndieBound | Amazon

Augustown, Kei Miller (Pantheon)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Tower of the Antilles, Achy Obejas (Akashic)
IndieBound | Amazon

A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa, Alexis Okeowo (Hachette)
IndieBound | Amazon

For Want of Water: and other poems, Sasha Pimentel (Beacon Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

Lessons on Expulsion: Poems, Erika L. Sánchez (Graywolf Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

Ordinary Beast: Poems, Nicole Sealey (Ecco)
IndieBound | Amazon

Because When God Is Too Busy: Haiti, me & THE WORLD, Gina Athena Ulysse (Wesleyan University Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

 

 

JUDGES: Eduardo C. Corral,  Kaitlyn Greenidge, Quan Barry

PEN Translation Prize

For a book-length translation of prose from any language into English published in 2017.

The Book of Emma Reyes, Emma Reyes (Penguin)
translated from the Spanish by Daniel Alarcon
IndieBound | Amazon

The Book of Whispers, Varujan Vosganian (Yale University Press)
translated from the Romanian by Alistair Ian Blyth
IndieBound | Amazon

A Horse Walks into a Bar, David Grossman (Vintage)
translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
IndieBound | Amazon

Out in the Open, Jesus Carrasco (Riverhead Books)
translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
IndieBound | Amazon

The Impossible Fairy Tale, Han Yujoo (Graywolf Press)
translated from the Korean by Janet Hong
IndieBound | Amazon

Affections: A Novel, Rodrigo Hasbun (Simon & Schuster)
translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes
IndieBound | Amazon

Notes of a Crocodile, Qiu Miaojin (New York Review Books)
translated from the Chinese by Bonnie Huie
IndieBound | Amazon

Bark, Georges Didi-Huberman (MIT Press)
translated from the French by Samuel Martin
IndieBound | Amazon

Katalin Street, Magda Szabo (NYRB Classics)
translated from the Hungarian by Len Rix
IndieBound | Amazon

Black Moses, Alain Mabanckou (The New Press)
translated from the French by Helen Stevenson
IndieBound | Amazon

 

 

 

JUDGES: Eric M. B. Becker, Lisa Hayden, Jenny Wang Medina, Denise Newman, Lara Vergnaud

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000)

For a book of essays published in 2017 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.

Most American: Notes from a Wounded Place, Rilla Askew (University of Oklahoma Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages, Carina Chocano (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story, Edwidge Danticat (Graywolf Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London, Lauren Elkin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
IndieBound | Amazon

Sunshine State, Sarah Gerard (Harper Perennial)
IndieBound | Amazon

Alpine Apprentice: A Memoir, Sarah Gorham (University of Georgia Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters, Ursula K. Le Guin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
IndieBound | Amazon

Homing Instincts, Sarah Menkedick (Pantheon)
IndieBound | Amazon

Because It Is So Beautiful: Unraveling the Mystique of the American West, Robert Leonard Reid (Counterpoint Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Mother of All Questions, Rebecca Solnit (Haymarket Books)
IndieBound | Amazon

 

 

 

JUDGES: Vinson Cunningham, James Fallows, Gillian Tett

PEN/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography ($5,000)

For a distinguished biography published in 2017.

The Trials of a Scold: The Incredible True Story of Writer Anne Royall, Jeff Biggers (Thomas Dunne Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

Grant, Ron Chernow (Penguin Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

Richard Nixon: The Life, John A. Farrell (Doubleday)
IndieBound | Amazon

Chester B. Himes: A Biography, Lawrence P. Jackson (W. W. Norton & Company)
IndieBound | Amazon

You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn, Wendy Lesser (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek, Howard Markel (Pantheon Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, Lauren Markham (Crown)
IndieBound | Amazon

Housman Country: Into the Heart of England, Peter Parker (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
IndieBound | Amazon

Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet, Lyndal Roper (Random House)
IndieBound | Amazon

Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror, Victor Sebestyen (Pantheon Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

 

 

 

JUDGES: Joe Jackson, Michelle Legro, Judith Thurman

PEN/E.O. WILSON PRIZE FOR LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING ($10,000)

For a book that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of the physical or biological sciences and communicates complex scientific concepts to a lay audience.

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World, David Baron (Liveright)
IndieBound | Amazon

How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, Lisa Feldman Barrett (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine, Lindsey Fitzharris (Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far: Why Are We Here?, Lawrence M. Krauss (Atria Books)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Climate Swerve: Reflections on Mind, Hope, and Survival , Robert Jay Lifton (The New Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life, David Montgomery (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.)
IndieBound | Amazon

Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River, David Owen (Riverhead Books)
IndieBound | Amazon

No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America, Ron Powers (Hachette Books)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World—And Us, Richard O. Prum (Doubleday)
IndieBound | Amazon

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, Robert Sapolsky (Penguin Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

 

 

 

JUDGES: Luke Dittrich, Deanna Fei, Dr. Carl Hart

PEN/ESPN AWARD FOR LITERARY SPORTS WRITING ($5,000)

To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2017. 

Ali: A Life, Jonathan Eig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr., and Baseball’s Most Historic Record, John Eisenberg (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
IndieBound | Amazon

What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen, Kate Fagan (Little, Brown and Company)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket-Scalping, Mascot-Racing, Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport, Rafi Kohan (Liveright)
IndieBound | Amazon

Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception, Terry McDermott (Pantheon)
IndieBound | Amazon

Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966–1971, Leigh Montville (Doubleday)
IndieBound | Amazon

City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles, Jerald Podair (Princeton University Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream, Joe Tone (One World)
IndieBound | Amazon

Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato, Mike Tyson & Larry “Ratso” Sloman (Blue Rider Press)
IndieBound | Amazon

The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, Tom Verducci (Crown Archetype)
IndieBound | Amazon

JUDGES: Chloé Cooper Jones, Sally Jenkins, Joe Nocera

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