New York, NY, October 3, 2006—Ron Chernow, president of PEN American Center, the nation’s pre-eminent association of literary writers and editors, has announced the establishment of the $10,000 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. The award will be conferred for the first time in 2007 and in odd-numbered years thereafter.

Chernow commented, “PEN is proud to assist in recognizing excellent new nonfiction work exemplifying the literary qualities, as well as the critical and iconoclastic spirit, that helped to make John Kenneth Galbraith one of America’s most influential and admired public intellectuals for more than four decades.”

Speaking on behalf of the family of John Kenneth Galbraith, Professor James Galbraith of the University of Texas added, “We’re delighted and honored, and Dad would be, too. The PEN award will advance free thought and good writing, two virtues that John Kenneth Galbraith valued most.”

The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award will go to a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues, published in the United States during the previous two calendar years. It is intended that the winning book possess the qualities of intellectual rigor, perspicuity of expression, and stylistic elegance conspicuous in the writings of author and economist John Kenneth Galbraith, whose four dozen books and countless other publications continue to provide an important and incisive commentary on the American social, intellectual and political scene.

The winning book for 2007 must have been published between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006 and will be chosen from works submitted by authors, publishers, agents, and editors on or after October 1, 2006. All submissions must arrive at PEN American Center’s office by 5:00 pm on December 15, 2006. Biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies are not eligible. The award may not be shared, but there will be two runners-up whose names and citations will be released along with the winner’s. When the award is given for a book originally written in a language other than English, the English-language translator will also receive due recognition, in light of the important role translation plays in the international world of letters.

Nick Burd, (212) 334-1660 ext. 108, awards@pen.org