PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction 

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Post by Chris G. 

The history of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is fairly interesting. The award itself is named after the international association of writers, PEN (which is an acronym for "Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Editors, and Novelists), and the prolific American author William Faulkner.
Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949 "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel." In 1960, he used his prize money to establish the William Faulkner Foundation, a charitable organization intended to support young writers. Among other things, the Faulkner Foundation gave out an annual literary prize called the William Faulkner Foundation Award, the winners of which include names like John Knowles, Thomas Pynchon, Cormac McCarthy, and Robert Coover. After 10 years, the Faulkner Foundation was dissolved in 1970. The PEN/Faulkner Award was named to honor Faulkner's philanthropy, as well as to continue in the Faulkner Foundation Award's tradition of recognizing works of literary excellence.
The PEN/Faulkner Award was founded in 1980 by Mary Lee Settle, who herself had won the National Book Award in 1978 for her novel "Blood Tie". This resulted from some controversy surrounding the 1979 National Book Award winner, "Going After Cacciato" by Tim O'Brien. Many in the publishing industry believed that year's award should have gone to John Irving for "The World According to Garp", which led to a rift among the panel of judges and ultimately changes to the rules of how the National Book Awards were judged. In protest of these rule changes, PEN voted to boycott the awards, citing them as "too commercial." The following year, the PEN/Faulkner Award was established. Settle's vision was that the "awards would be judged by writers, not by industry insiders, and no favoritism would be granted to bestselling authors."
Now in its 38th year, the PEN/Faulkner Award is among the most prestigious literary honors an author can receive, and continues to fulfill Settle's mission "to create a community of writers, honor excellence in American fiction, and encourage a love of reading."
The 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award winner was announced on Saturday, May 5th. All of this year's nominees, the winner as well as many winners of years past are available to be borrowed from the Aurora Public Library. You can find those titles and the formats in which they are available below.  

  This Year's Nominees


 "In the Distance" by Hernan Diaz

   
 "The Dark Dark" by Samantha Hunt Also available as an eBook.

   
 "The Tower of the Antilles" by Achy Obejas

   
 "Improvement" by Joan Silber


 "Sing, Unburied, Sing" by Jesmyn Ward Also available as an audiobook, eBook, and eAudiobook.


Past Winners

2017

 "Behold the Dreamers" by Imbolo Mbue Also available as an eBook.
2016

 "Delicious Foods" by James Hannaham
   2014

 "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves" by Karen Joy Fowler
2012

 "The Buddha in the Attic" by Julie Otsuka
2010

 "War Dances" by Sherman Alexie Available as an eAudiobook through RBDigital. 
2009

 "Netherland" by Joseph O'Neill Also available in Large Print and as an audiobook.
2007

  "Everyman" by Philip Roth Also available as an audiobook and eAudiobook.
   2006

  "The March" by E.L. Doctorow
   2005

 "War Trash" by Ha Jin
2004

 "The Early Stories, 1953-1975" by John Updike
   2002

 "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett Also available as an eBook.
2001

  "The Human Stain" by Philip Roth Also available in Large Print.
   2000

  "Waiting" by Ha Jin Also available in Large Print and as an eBook.
   1999

 "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham
   1997

  "Women in their Beds" by Gina Berriault
1996

 "Independence Day" by Richard Ford Available as an eAudiobook through RBDigital.
1995

 "Snow Falling on Cedars" by David Guterson Available as an audiobook, eBook, and eAudiobook.
   1993

 "Postcards" by E. Annie Proulx

And the 2018 winner is...

 "Improvement" by Joan Silber 

 



Sources: The Nobel Prize in Literature 1949 Notes on People; New York Writer Getting PEN/Faulkner Award Novelist Mary Lee Settle; Founded PEN/Faulkner Award PEN/Faulkner PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction PEN International William Faulkner Foundation
Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org On 17 May, 2018 at 2:10 PM  

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