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Shortlists Announced for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards

It's with great excitement that PEN today announces the shortlists for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards. After much deliberation, this year's judges have narrowed their longlists down to just five titles. 

The winners of the awards will be announced on May 13 with the exception of our Debut Fiction, Art of the Essay, and Open Book Award which will be announced at PEN's Literary Awards Ceremony on June 8 at The New School in New York City. 

 

2015 PEN LITERARY AWARD SHORTLISTS

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 2014—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

JUDGES: Caroline Fraser, Katie Kitamura, Paul La Farge, and Victor LaValle

SHORTLIST:

The UnAmericans
Molly Antopol
(W. W. Norton & Company)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Ruby
Cynthia Bond
(Hogarth)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Redeployment
Phil Klay
(Penguin Press)
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Dog
Jack Livings
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Love Me Back
Merritt Tierce
(Doubleday)
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2014 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.

JUDGES: Diane Johnson, Dahlia Lithwick, Vijay Seshadri, and Mark Slouka

SHORTLIST:

Moral Imagination
David Bromwich
(Princeton University Press)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Theater of Cruelty
Ian Buruma
(New York Review Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Loitering
Charles D’Ambrosio
(Tin House Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Empathy Exams
Leslie Jamison
(Graywolf Press)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Limber
Angela Pelster
(Sarabande Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

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 2014.

JUDGES: Sue Halpern, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, and Carl Zimmer

SHORTLIST:

War of the Whales
Joshua Horwitz
(Simon & Schuster)
Amazon | Indie Bound

How We Got to Now
Steven Johnson
(Riverhead Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Sixth Extinction
Elizabeth Kolbert
(Henry Holt and Co.)
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Age of Radiance
Craig Nelson
(Scribner)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Proof
Adam Rogers
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000): To an author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues which has been published in 2013 or 2014.

JUDGES: Andrew Blechman, Paul Elie, Azadeh Moaveni, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, and Paul Reyes

SHORTLIST:

Our Declaration
Danielle Allen
(Liveright)
Amazon | Indie Bound

League of Denial
Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru
(Crown Archetype)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Five Days at Memorial
Sheri Fink
(Crown)
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Big Truck That Went By
Jonathan M. Katz
(Palgrave Macmillan)
Amazon | Indie Bound

This Changes Everything
Naomi Klein
(Simon & Schuster)
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2014.

JUDGES: R. Erica Doyle, W. Ralph Eubanks, and Chinelo Okparanta

SHORTLIST:

An Unnecessary Woman
Rabih Alameddine
(Grove Press)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Every Day Is for the Thief
Teju Cole
(Random House)
Amazon | Indie Bound

An Untamed State
Roxane Gay
(Black Cat)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Citizen: An American Lyric
Claudia Rankine
(Graywolf Press)
Amazon | Indie Bound

The City Son
Samrat Upadhyay
(Soho Press)
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in 2014.

JUDGES: Emily Bernard, Nicholas Fox Weber, and Jon Meacham

SHORTLIST:

Rebel Yell
S. C. Gwynne
(Scribner)
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace
Jeff Hobbs
(Scribner)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Strange Glory
Charles Marsh
(Alfred A. Knopf)
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Queen's Bed
Anna Whitelock
(Sarah Crichton Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Piero's Light
Larry Witham
(Pegasus Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2014.

JUDGES: Rich Cohen, George Dohrmann, and Jonathan Mahler

SHORTLIST:

Boy on Ice
John Branch
(W. W. Norton & Company)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Black Noon
Art Garner
(Thomas Dunne Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

All Fishermen are Liars
John Gierach
(Simon & Schuster)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Ping-Pong Diplomacy
Nicholas Griffin
(Scribner)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Deep
James Nestor
(Eamon Dolan Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2014.

JUDGE: Ana Božičević

SHORTLIST:

Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream by Kim Hyesoon
Translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi
(Action Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

I Am the Beggar of the World
Translated from the Pashto by Eliza Griswold
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz by Juana Inés de la Cruz
Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
(W. W. Norton & Company)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Breathturn into Timestead by Paul Celan
Translated from the German by Pierre Joris
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Guantanamo by Frank Smith
Translated from the French by Vanessa Place
(Les Figues Press)
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2014.

JUDGES: Heather Cleary, Lucas Klein, Tess Lewis, and Allison Markin Powell

SHORTLIST:

The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla
Translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush
(New York Review Books)
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Symmetry Teacher by Andrei Bitov
Translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Baboon by Naja Marie Aidt
Translated from the Danish by Denise Newman
(Two Lines Press)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Texas: The Great Theft by Carmen Boullosa
Translated from the Spanish by Samantha Schnee
(Deep Vellum Publishing)
Amazon | Indie Bound

Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye
Translated from the French by Jordan Stump
(Two Lines Press)
Amazon | Indie Bound

 

2015 CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

(The following PEN Awards do not have longlists. The winners will be announced on May 13 along with all of the winners for the book awards.)

 

PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize ($10,000): For a promising young writer under the age of 35 for an unpublished work of nonfiction that addresses a global and/or multicultural issue.

JUDGES: John Freeman, Roxane Gay, and Cristina Henríquez

 

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: Kathleen Chalfant, Ellen McLaughlin, and Adam Rapp

 

PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry ($5,000): For an emerging American poet showing promise of further literary achievement.

JUDGES: Marie Howe, Mary Szybist, and Craig Morgan Teicher

 

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000): For an author of children’s or young-adult fiction to complete a book-length work-in-progress.

JUDGES: Viola Canales, Selene Castrovilla, and Elizabeth Levy

 

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: Mike Barnicle, Franklin Foer, and Selena Roberts

 

PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing ($2,500): For a magazine editor whose high literary taste has, throughout his or her career, contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits.

JUDGES: Christopher Castellani, Carmela Ciuraru, and Bill Clegg

 

PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation: For a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of his or her work.

JUDGES: Selected by the PEN Translation Committee

 

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000-$4,000): To support the translation of book-length works into English.

JUDGES: Esther Allen, Mitzi Angel, Peter Blackstock, Howard Goldblatt, Sara Khalili, Michael F. Moore*, Declan Spring, and Alex Zucker (*Voting Chair of the PEN/Heim Advisory Board)

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