Prize Readers discussion

41 views
Awards Roundup--Archive > 2019 Pen America Literary Awards Longlists

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Bob (new)

Bob Lopez | 196 comments Mod
PEN America is thrilled to announce the longlists for the 2019 PEN America Literary Awards. Awards are juried by panels of esteemed, award-winning writers, editors, booksellers, and critics.

This year’s awards will confer nearly $350,000 to writers and translators whose exceptional literary works were published in 2018. Spanning fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essays, science writing, sports writing, translation, and more, these longlisted books are bound to help you fulfill your gift giving needs in time for the holiday season.

The finalists for all book awards will be announced in January 2019. The winners will be celebrated at the 2019 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on February 26 at the NYU Skirball Center in NYC. Find out more about the event or purchase tickets here.

PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM PRIZE FOR DEBUT FICTION ($25,000)
To an author whose debut collection of short stories published in 2018 represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswar
A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley
Some Trick: Thirteen Stories by Helen DeWitt
Basements and Other Museums by Vedran Husic
Bloodshot Stories by Jeff P. Jones
Half Gods by Akil Kumarasamy
Her Adult Life by Jenn Scott
The Island Dwellers: Stories by Jen Silverman
Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Bring Out the Dog: Stories by Will Mackin

PEN OPEN BOOK AWARD ($5,000)
To an exceptional book-length work of any genre by an author of color, published in the United States in 2018.

Cape Verdean Blues by Shauna Barbosa
Brother by David Chariandy
All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung
How to Sit: A Memoir in Stories and Essays by Tyrese Coleman
The Terrible: A Storyteller's Memoir by Yrsa Daley-Ward
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Teeth Never Sleep: Poems by Ángel García
Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
Eye Level: Poems by Jenny Xie

PEN TRANSLATION PRIZE ($3,000)
For a book-length translation of prose from any language into English published in 2018.

Nevada Days: A Novel by Bernardo Atxaga; translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
The Life and Opinions of Zacharias Lichter by Matei Calinescu; translated from the Romanian by Adriana Calinescu
Disoriental by Négar Djavadi; translated from the French by Tina Kover
The Stone Building and Other Places by Aslı Erdoğan; translated from the Turkish by Sevinç Türkkan
Mourning by Eduardo Halfon; translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn
Moon Brow by Shahriar Mandanipour; translated from the Persian by Sara Khalili
Love by Hanne Ørstavik; translated from the Norwegian by Martin Aitken
CoDex 1962: A Trilogy Sjón; translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
Trick Domenico Starnone; translated from the Italian by Jhumpa Lahiri
Aetherial Worlds: Stories by Tatyana Tolstaya; translated from the Russian by Anya Migdal

I've limited this post to the first three awards that include literary fiction. There are, of course, additional awards: Poetry in Translation, Art of the Essay, Biography, Non-Fiction, Science Writing, and Sports Writing. All the awards longlists can be found here: https://pen.org/2019longlists/


message 2: by Karin (new)

Karin (8littlepaws) | 77 comments these are some seriously interesting lists!


message 3: by Bob (new)

Bob Lopez | 196 comments Mod
Karin wrote: "these are some seriously interesting lists!"

I know! Like we don't have enough to read...seeing some familiar names on here, too.


message 4: by Elizabeth (last edited Dec 11, 2018 06:07PM) (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 16 comments Oh gosh, these look good, thanks so much for posting. (Although I feel like you do at Thanksgiving when you're stuffed and then they bring out the pies...)


message 5: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 142 comments Thanks for sharing!!
I am glad to see some favorites on the longlist.

And there are those that I have not heard of and I am afraid to click on the click and decide I need to read a couple of them asap.


message 6: by Bob (new)

Bob Lopez | 196 comments Mod
Sorry, gang! Haven't been keeping up with awards updates. Looks like the finalists for the Pen America Literary Awards were announced recently.

The finalists can be found here: https://pen.org/2019finalists/

It includes an award I hadn't seen announced before but seems to be a sort of best of the best.

PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD ($75,000)
For a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
The Carrying: Poems by Ada Limon
Citizen Illegal by Josẽ Olivarez
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Educated by Tara Westover

I finished 3/5 of these and really favor Friday Black


message 7: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 16 comments Bob wrote: "Sorry, gang! Haven't been keeping up with awards updates. Looks like the finalists for the Pen America Literary Awards were announced recently.

The finalists can be found here: https://pen.org/201..."


Thanks for posting. I've only read two of these (I was so haunted by Friday Black, I still think about it.) Putting Citizen Illegal on my TBR, it sounds fabulous.


message 8: by Bob (new)

Bob Lopez | 196 comments Mod
Elizabeth Arnold wrote: "I was so haunted by Friday Black..."

Yeah, me too. Those stories were so mindblowing and troubling? I don't know...but the vibe of it reminded me a lot of Dexter Palmer


message 9: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 142 comments Bob wrote: "Sorry, gang! Haven't been keeping up with awards updates. Looks like the finalists for the Pen America Literary Awards were announced recently.

The finalists can be found here: https://pen.org/201..."


I hope all is well and everyone has been doing some great reading.
I too have not been paying that much attention to the award announcements.

The Jean Stein Award has been around for a couple of years - here are the previous winners:

2017 Hisham Matar for The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between (Penguin Random House)

2018 Layli Long Soldier for WHEREAS (Graywolf Press)


message 10: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 142 comments Bob wrote: "Sorry, gang! Haven't been keeping up with awards updates. Looks like the finalists for the Pen America Literary Awards were announced recently.

The finalists can be found here: https://pen.org/201..."


And Friday Black did win last night!

Here is a link to the winners (except the PEN/Hemingway which will be announced later):

https://pen.org/2019-winners/


message 11: by Bob (new)

Bob Lopez | 196 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "And Friday Black did win last night!..."

I'm so glad! That book is amazing!


message 12: by Sam (new)

Sam | 85 comments I read all the translation finalists and enjoyed them.


message 13: by Bob (new)

Bob Lopez | 196 comments Mod
Sam wrote: "I read all the translation finalists and enjoyed them."

Hey, Sam, can you rank them? Best to less best? See if I can cram some into my TBR? Particularly since we got the Booker International Longlist coming out soon...


message 14: by Sam (new)

Sam | 85 comments Difficult for me to rank given their differences and the fact that there was no standout, but I'll try with my cooments added.

1.Love Overall good tight book, not too challenging, similar to Night Circus in the atmosphere produced, without the fantastical elements. Also on NBA translated.
2.Nevada Days A few would disagree with me but i liked this book about a Basque visiting professor's stay in Nevada. This one has mixed reviews but what sold me was character of the narrator and his family. I wish they were my neighbors. The prose is unpretentious and very readable. It is a journal of his experiences spliced with essays mostly relating to his reminiscences of family life from his younger years or from stories he found interesting, This isn't creative literary prose but I found myself very relaxed from reading it.
3.Disoriental This was another from NBA translated that I also expect on the Booker International. The author is an Iran/Persia emigre, settled in France and she tells the story of a child with a similar background, recounting family history, political situation that forces family to leave, the difficult journey to escape, and subsequent events in her life. This book reminded me very much of Call Me Zebra and reading one helps one understand the other.
4Trick Another from NBA we've both read.
5. The Stone Building and Other Places Meh.. on the book of stories as a whole but the award-winning "Wooden Birds," is a masterpiece. Borrow the book and read that story.


message 15: by Drew (new)

Drew (drewlynn) | 6 comments Sam wrote: "This book reminded me very much of Call Me Zebra and reading one helps one understand the other."

Call Me Zebra suffered in comparison.


message 16: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 142 comments Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s Call Me Zebra (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) has been selected as the winner of the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

“We are truly delighted to be able to honor such a rare and remarkable work of art,” said PEN/Faulkner Executive Director Gwydion Suilebhan. “Along with our other four finalists, Call Me Zebra makes absolutely clear what a towering moment this is for American fiction.”

This year’s judges—Percival Everett, Ernesto Quiñonez, and Joy Williams—considered more than 400 novels and short story collections by American authors published in the US during the 2018 calendar year. Submissions came from more than 180 publishing houses, including small and academic presses.

“History is the ultimate judge,” wrote Everett, Quiñonez, and Williams, “And it will certainly treat all five finalists with kindness. However, once in a while a singular, adventurous, and intellectually humorous voice appears that takes us on an inescapable journey. Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s Call Me Zebra is a library within a library, a Borges-esque labyrinth of references from all cultures and all walks of life. In today’s visual Netflix world, Ms. Van der Vliet Oloomi’s novel performs at the highest of levels in accomplishing only what the written novel can show us.”

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Call Me Zebra, which was longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award, and Fra Keeler, which received a Whiting Writers’ Award and was a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” selection. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a Fellowship from the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes in Barcelona. Van der Vliet Oloomi is an Assistant Professor in the English Department’s MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame.

“I discovered William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury alongside Toni Morrison’s Beloved almost two decades ago in my senior year of high school,” said Van der Vliet Oloomi. “These two books have remained an integral part of the evolution of my literary consciousness; I consider them material proof that the vital energy of life can be transmitted to readers across time and space and that literature has the potential to heal both the individual and the social body. Call Me Zebra represents an homage to the great writers of the past and present who have had the courage and intellectual stamina to think with their hearts about what it means to be human in a world where justice and equality remain scarce for so many. Winning the PEN/Faulkner Award at such a delicate and trying juncture in our nation’s troubled history is an honor I am infinitely grateful to carry. It is, for me, a reminder from our mysterious universe that honest writing can allow us to speak humbly with one another, an intimation to love and to listen deeply each time I set pen to paper.”

The PEN/Faulkner Award is America’s largest peer-juried prize for fiction. As winner, Van der Vliet Oloomi will receive a $15,000 prize.

Each of the four finalists—Blanche McCrary Boyd, for Tomb of the Unknown Racist;
Richard Powers, for The Overstory;
Ivelisse Rodriguez, for Love War Stories;
and Willy Vlautin, for Don’t Skip Out on Me—will receive $5,000.

Recent winners include Joan Silber, for Improvement; Imbolo Mbue, for Behold the Dreamers; James Hannaham, for Delicious Foods; Atticus Lish, for Preparation for the Next Life; and Karen Joy Fowler, for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, among many others.


message 17: by Drew (new)

Drew (drewlynn) | 6 comments Beverly wrote: "Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s Call Me Zebra (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) has been selected as the winner of the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

“We are truly delighted to be ..."


I heard the author interviewed on NPR this morning and I felt stupid all over again for not getting this book.


back to top