The 2016 PEN Literary Awards Shortlist Has Been Released


Today, PEN America announced the shortlist of nominations for the 2016 PEN Literary Awards. Narrowed down from ten to five finalists in each of the categories, the “diligent and discerning judges” are now faced with choosing an ultimate winner. The awards committee acknowledges literature from all genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essay, biography, and even translation. Many winners will be announced on March 1, and the remaining winners will be honored at the awards ceremony on April 11.

You can find the full shortlist for eight categories below.

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction ($25,000) In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar The Turner House by Angela Flournoy Mr. and Mrs. Doctor by Julie Iromuanya The Sympathizer: A Novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness by Jennifer Tseng

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000) After the Tall Timber: Collected Non-Fiction by Renata Adler Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates The Quarry by Susan Howe The Givenness of Things: Essays by Marilynne Robinson Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles by David L. Ulin

PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000) Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World by Joel K. Bourne Jr. The Boy Who Played with Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star by Tom Clynes Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future by Lauren Redniss Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World by Alexandra Witze & Jeff Kanipe

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000) Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson by Kent Babb The Domino Diaries: My Decade Boxing with Olympic Champions and Chasing Hemingway’s Ghost in the Last Days of Castro’s Cuba by Brin-Jonathan Butler The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change, and Basketball’s Lost Triumph by Scott Ellsworth Molina: The Story of the Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty by Bengie Molina with Joan Ryan The Grind: Inside Baseball’s Endless Season by Barry Svrluga

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000) (For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color.) Chord by Rick Barot Bastards of the Reagan Era by Reginald Dwayne Betts Forest Primeval: Poems by Vievee Francis Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey by Marie Mutsuki Mockett Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape by Lauret Savoy

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000) The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects by Deborah Lutz Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art by Nancy Princenthal John le Carré: The Biography by Adam Sisman Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000) The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector (trans. from Portuguese by Katrina Dodson) The Blizzard by Vladimir Sorokin (trans. from Russian by Jamey Gambrell) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (trans. from Russian by Oliver Ready) The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov (trans. from Bulgarian by Angela Rodel) Hollow Heart by Viola Di Grado (trans. from Italian by Antony Shugaar)

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000) The School of Solitude: Collected Poems by Luis Hernández (trans. from Spanish by Anthony Geist) The Late Poems of Wang An-Shih (trans. from Chinese by David Hinton) Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas (trans. from Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan) I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems by Arseny Tarkovsky (trans. from Russian by Philip Metres & Dimitri Psurtsev)