NEW YORK—PEN American Center this week announced the longlists for the 2016 PEN Literary Awards, which include works by literary agent Bill Clegg for his debut novel, Ta-Nehisi Coates for his work exploring race and fatherhood, Angela Flournoy for her breakout first fiction, and Marilynne Robinson for her collection of essays.

This year, PEN announced the longlists for its awards earlier than ever before, celebrating a total of eighty books from 2015 in time for the holiday season. From Monday, December 7 through Thursday, December 10, PEN American Center rolled out the longlists for its eight book awards in partnership with Literary Hub ( Longlists for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay were announced Monday, followed by the longlists for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing on Tuesday. The longlists for the PEN Open Book Award and PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography were announced on Wednesday, and the longlists for PEN’s two translation awards—the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation and PEN Translation Prize—were announced on Thursday.

“We are delighted that the titles longlisted for this year’s awards represent a wide array of voices, genres, and publishers,” said PEN American Center President Andrew Solomon. “Once again, we recognize writers whose careers are just budding as well as those who are deservedly renowned, those who are undiscovered as well as those who are widely acclaimed. The diversity of our finalists points to the judges’ discerning taste and incisive judgments. Selected from a robust and ever-growing pool of submissions, the books we celebrate with these awards remind us how critical free expression is for both profound literature and a healthy society.”

Finalists for all book awards will be announced on February 2. The winners for all 2016 awards will be announced on March 1, except those for the awards for Debut Fiction, Art of the Essay, Open Book, Literary Science Writing, and the PEN/Fusion Prize, which will be named live at the 2016 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on April 11 at The New School’s Auditorium in NYC.

For more than 50 years, the PEN Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across such diverse fields as fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, and drama. With the help of its partners and supporters, PEN will confer 19 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes in 2016, awarding nearly $200,000 to writers and translators.

The complete list of longlisted titles is available at


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 2015—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

JUDGES: Helon Habila, Elizabeth McCracken, Edie Meidav, and Jess Row


In the Country: Stories (Alfred A. Knopf), Mia Alvar
The Boatmaker (Tin House Books), John Benditt
Did You Ever Have A Family (Gallery/Scout Press/Simon & Schuster), Bill Clegg
Hausfrau (Random House), Jill Alexander Essbaum
The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Angela Flournoy
Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press), Julie Iromuanya
The Sympathizer (Grove Press), Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Given World (Simon & Schuster), Marian Palaia
It Had Been Planned and There Were Guides (Fiction Collective Two/University of Alabama Press), Jessica Lee Richardson
Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness (Europa Editions), Jennifer Tseng

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2015 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.

JUDGES: Verlyn Klinkenborg, Meghan O’Rourke, and Luc Sante


After the Tall Timber: Collected Non-Fiction (New York Review Books), Renata Adler
This Old Man: All in Pieces (Doubleday), Roger Angell
Our Only World: Ten Essays (Counterpoint), Wendell Berry
Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Random House), Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Quarry (New Directions), Susan Howe
Women Artists: The Linda Nochlin Reader (Thames & Hudson), Linda Nochlin
The Givenness of Things: Essays (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Marilynne Robinson
Reporting Always: Writings from The New Yorker (Scribner/Simon & Schuster), Lillian Ross
The Life of Images: Selected Prose (Ecco/HarperCollins), Charles Simic
Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles (University of California Press), David L. Ulin

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 2015.

JUDGES: Joshua Foer, Virginia Hughes, and Sonia Shah


The Man Who Wasn’t There: Investigations Into the Strange New Science of the Self (Dutton Books/Penguin Random House), Anil Ananthaswamy
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History (Crown), Cynthia Barnett
Black Hole: How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled On by Hawking Became Loved (Yale University Press), Marcia Bartusiak
The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World (W. W. Norton & Company), Joel K. Bourne Jr.
The Boy Who Played with Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Tom Clynes
The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults (Harper Books), Frances E. Jensen, MD with Amy Ellis Nutt
Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry (Little Brown and Company), Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD with Ogi Ogas
Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time—and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything (Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux), George Musser
Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future (Random House), Lauren Redniss
Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World (Pegasus Books), Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2015.

JUDGES: Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Celeste Ng, and Héctor Tobar


Chord (Sarabande Books), Rick Barot
Bastards of the Reagan Era (Four Way Books), Reginald Dwayne Betts
Forest Primeval: Poems (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern), Vievee Francis
It Seems Like a Mighty Long Time: Poems (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern), Angela Jackson
God Loves Haiti: A Novel (Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers), Dimitry Elias Léger
Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey (W. W. Norton & Company), Marie Mutsuki Mockett
The Pink Box: Poems (Aquarius Press/Willow Books), Yesenia Montilla
The Blind Writer: Stories and a Novella (University Of Hawai’i Press), Sameer Pandya
Heaven: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape (Counterpoint), Lauret Savoy

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in 2015.

JUDGES: Nell Irvin Painter, Deborah Solomon, and Simon Winchester


In Search of Sir Thomas Browne: The Life and Afterlife of the Seventeenth Century’s Most Inquiring Mind (W. W. Norton & Company), Hugh Aldersey-Williams
Joan of Arc: A History (Harper Books), Helen Castor
Sinatra: The Chairman (Doubleday), James Kaplan
The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects (W. W. Norton & Company), Deborah Lutz
Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press (Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers), James McGrath Morris
Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames & Hudson), Nancy Princenthal
Eqbal Ahmad: Critical Outsider in a Turbulent Age (Columbia University Press), Stuart Schaar
John le Carré: The Biography (Harper Books), Adam Sisman
Michelle Obama: A Life (Alfred A. Knopf), Peter Slevin
Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva (Harper Books), Rosemary Sullivan

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2015.

JUDGES: Rich Cohen, George Dohrmann, and Jonathan Mahler


Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster), Kent Babb
The Domino Diaries: My Decade Boxing with Olympic Champions and Chasing Hemingway’s Ghost in the Last Days of Castro’s Cuba (Picador), Brin-Jonathan Butler
The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory (Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group), Julie Checkoway
The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change, and Basketball’s Lost Triumph (Little Brown and Company), Scott Ellsworth
The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse (Simon & Schuster), Molly Knight
Concussion (Random House), Jeanne Marie Laskas
Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty (Simon & Schuster), Charles Leerhsen
Molina: The Story of the Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty (Simon & Schuster), Bengie Molina with Joan Ryan
Sports and Labor in the United States (SUNY Press), Michael Schiavone
The Grind: Inside Baseball’s Endless Season (Blue Rider Press), Barry Svrluga

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2015.

JUDGE: Urayoán Noel


The Country of Planks by Raúl Zurita (Action Books), translated from the Spanish by Daniel Borzutzky
Oxen Rage by Juan Gelman (co-im-press), translated from the Spanish by Lisa Rose Bradford
The School of Solitude: Collected Poems by Luis Hernández (Swan Isle Press), translated from the Spanish by Anthony Geist
The Late Poems of Wang An-shih (New Directions), translated from the Chinese by David Hinton
Twelve Stations by Tomasz Różycki (Zephyr Press), translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston
Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas (Phoneme Media) translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan
I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), translated from the Russian by Philip Metres and Dimitri Psurtsev
The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa (Canarium Books), translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu
Silvina Ocampo (New York Review Books Poets), translated from the Spanish by Jason Weiss
Uyghurland, the Furthest Exile by Ahmatjan Osman (Phoneme Media), translated from the Uyghur and Arabic by Jeffrey Yang with the author

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2015.

JUDGES:  Elisabeth Jaquette, Aviya Kushner, Ronald Meyer, Sara Nović, and Jeffrey Zuckerman


The Sound of Our Steps by Ronit Matalon (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company), translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu
The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector (New Directions), translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson
The Blizzard by Vladimir Sorokin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the Russian by Jamey Gambrell
Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah (AmazonCrossing), translated from the Korean by Sora Kim-Russell
The Game for Real by Richard Weiner (Two Lines Press), translated from the Czech by Benjamin Paloff
Sphinx by Anne Garréta (Deep Vellum Publishing), translated from the French by Emma Ramadan
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Penguin Classics), translated from the Russian by Oliver Ready
The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov (Open Letter Books), translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel
Hollow Heart by Viola Di Grado (Europa Editions), translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar
Paris Nocturne by Patrick Modiano (Yale University Press/Margellos World Republic of Letters), translated from the French by Phoebe Weston-Evans


(The following PEN Awards do not have longlists nor shortlists. The winners will be announced on March 1 along with all of the winners for the above book awards.)

PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction ($25,000): To a distinguished living American author of fiction.

JUDGES: Louise Erdrich, Dinaw Mengestu, and Francine Prose


PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Founded by Barbara Kingsolver ($25,000): To an author of an unpublished novel that addresses issues of social justice. The prize also includes a publishing contract with Algonquin Books.

JUDGES: Laila Lalami, Kathy Pories, and Brando Skyhorse


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: Marie Arana, Manuel Gonzales, and Johnny Temple


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: Annie Baker, Kirsten Greenidge, and Tracy Letts


PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry ($5,000): To a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work to date represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature.

JUDGES: Catherine Barnett, Jericho Brown, and Tina Chang


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: Emily Arnold McCully, Katherine Paterson, and Jason Reynolds


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: Senator William W. Bradley, Sally Jenkins, and Dave Kindred


PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature ($3,000): To a living author of a major work of Paraguayan literature not yet translated into English.

JUDGES: Ezra E. Fitz, Amalia Gladhart, and Mark Weiss


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

JUDGES: The PEN/Heim Advisory Board


The 2016 PEN Literary Awards are made possible through the generous support of PEN’s many donors:, the family of Robert W. Bingham, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Carl Spielvogel, ESPN, Harrison Ford, The Kaplen Foundation, Barbara Kingsolver, Priscilla and Michael Henry Heim, Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman, Phyllis Naylor, the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, the Estate of Rochelle Ratner, Dr. Edward O. Wilson and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, James and Cathy Stone, Edward and Lily Tuck, Hunce Voelcker, Jacqueline Bograd Weld and Rodman L. Drake, and Univision.

PEN will begin accepting submissions for its 2017 Awards in the spring of 2016. For a list of all 2017 PEN Awards and information about submission guidelines, please visit For questions about any of the awards, write to For questions about the longlisted titles, upcoming awards announcements, or advertising in the 2016 Ceremony program, please contact Paul W. Morris, PEN’s Director of Literary Programs, at


Founded in 1922, PEN American Center is an association of 4,300 U.S. writers working to break down barriers to free expression worldwide. Its distinguished members carry on the achievements in literature and the advancement of human rights of such past members as Langston Hughes, Arthur Miller, Susan Sontag, and John Steinbeck.

Paul W. Morris, Director of Literary Programs: 646-779-4824,

Sarah Edkins, Deputy Director for Communications: 646-779-4830,