New York City, October 16, 2012—PEN American Center is pleased to announce today that its Board of Trustees voted on October 3, 2012, to appoint Nathan Englander and Andrew Solomon to its ranks. “They are writers of exceptional qualities who bring a strong commitment to the literary and free expression callings of PEN,” said PEN President Peter Godwin, “and whose experience and outlook will be welcome and important in our work.” 

Nathan Englander is a novelist, essayist, and playwright. He is the author of the internationally best-selling story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases. His short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Post as well as The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories and numerous editions of The Best American Short Stories

Translated into more than a dozen languages, Englander was selected as one of “20 Writers for the 21st Century” by The New Yorker, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award, the Bard Fiction Prize, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Hunter College and for NYU’s summer Writers in Paris program. 

Earlier in 2012 Englander published the short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank and his translation New American Haggadah (edited by Jonathan Safran Foer.) He co-translated Etgar Keret’s Suddenly a Knock at the Door, also published in 2012. He will premiere his play The Twenty-Seventh Man at The Public Theater in November.  

Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on politics, culture, and psychology.  His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Newsweek, and the Advocate, on topics including depression, Soviet artists, the cultural rebirth of Afghanistan, Libyan politics, and gay marriage. He has authored essays for many anthologies and books of criticism, and his work has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Moth Radio Hour.”

Solomon’s first novel, A Stone Boat, was a national bestseller and runner up for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction prize. His most recent book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, and was included in The Times of London’s list of one hundred best books of the decade. His newest book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, is scheduled for publication on November 13, 2012.

Solomon is an activist and philanthropist in LGBT rights, mental health, education, and the arts. He is founder of the Solomon Research Fellowships in LGBT Studies at Yale University, and a member of the boards of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Trans Youth Family Allies. 

Officers of the PEN American Center Board of Trustees include President Peter Godwin, Executive Vice President John Troubh, Vice Presidents Ron Chernow and Victoria Redel, Treasurer John Oakes, and Secretary Elinor Lipman. Trustees include Cara Benson, Susan Bernofsky, Edward Burlingame, Anne Burt, Morgan Entrekin, Wendy Gimbel, Jeri Laber, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Christian Oberbeck, Tess O’Dwyer, Hannah Pakula, Gregory Pardlo, Walter Pozen, Theresa Rebeck, Susanna Reich, Elissa Schappell, Elisabeth Sifton, Clinton Ives Smullyan Jr., Rose Styron, Annette Tapert, Lynne Tillman, Danielle Truscott, Davis Weinstock, and Jacob Weisberg.

PEN American Center is the largest of the 144 centers of PEN International, the world’s oldest human rights organization and the oldest international literary organization. PEN International was founded in 1921 to dispel national, ethnic, and racial tensions and to promote understanding among all countries. PEN American Center, founded a year later, works to advance literature, to defend free expression, and to foster international literary fellowship. Its 2,000 distinguished members carry on the achievements in literature and advancement of human rights of such past members as James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, Arthur Miller, Marianne Moore, Eugene O’Neill, Susan Sontag, and John Steinbeck.

For more information contact:
Emma Connolly, (212) 334-1660 ext. 103