In response to the current budget proposal to completely defund the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, PEN America asked Members to share their experiences with the NEA or NEH. From editors to historians to teachers to novelists, our Members have benefited from the NEA and NEH in a variety of meaningful ways. We present here a handful of their stories.

Norman Rush, author, Mating

The NEA Literary Fellowship in 1986 was instrumental in providing support for the completion of my first novel, Mating. The reception of that novel was the foundation for my subsequent career. NEA support came at just the right time. It was deeply encouraging. I was 53—not young.