E.L. Doctorow accepts the PEN/Borders Literary Service Award at the 2009 PEN Literary Gala. “Of course performing a literary service, making something of redeeming social value, is, or should be, the last thing on a writer’s mind as he or she writes,” Doctorow said in his speech. “It is better to feel an overriding occupational desperation for having gotten oneself into a book and living in the lines with no one way out except through the last sentence.”