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Shortlists Announced for 2015 PEN Literary Awards

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It is with great excitement that PEN today announces the shortlists for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards. After much deliberation, this year’s judges have narrowed their longlists down to just five titles across awards honoring fiction, nonfiction, biography, essays, translation, and more.

The winners of the awards will be announced on May 13 with the exception of our Debut Fiction, Art of the Essay, and Open Book Award which will be announced at PEN’s Literary Awards Ceremony on June 8 at The New School in New York City.

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 2014—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. Judges: Caroline Fraser, Katie Kitamura, Paul La Farge, Victor LaValle

The UnAmericans (W. W. Norton & Company), Molly Antopol 
Ruby (Hogarth), Cynthia Bond 
Redeployment (Penguin Press), Phil Klay
The Dog (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Jack Livings
Love Me Back (Doubleday), Merritt Tierce

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2014 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature. Judges: Diane Johnson, Dahlia Lithwick, Vijay Seshadri, Mark Slouka

Moral Imagination (Princeton University Press), David Bromwich
Theater of Cruelty (New York Review Books), Ian Buruma
Loitering (Tin House Books), Charles D’Ambrosio
The Empathy Exams (Graywolf Press), Leslie Jamison
Limber (Sarabande Books), Angela Pelster

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 2014. Judges: Sue Halpern, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Carl Zimmer

War of the Whales (Simon & Schuster), Joshua Horwitz 
How We Got to Now (Riverhead Books), Steven Johnson
The Sixth Extinction (Henry Holt and Co.), Elizabeth Kolbert
The Age of Radiance (Scribner), Craig Nelson
Proof (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Adam Rogers

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000): To an author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues which has been published in 2013 or 2014.Judges: Andrew Blechman, Paul Elie, Azadeh Moaveni, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Paul Reyes

Our Declaration (Liveright), Danielle Allen
League of Denial (Crown Archetype), Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru
Five Days at Memorial (Crown), Sheri Fink
The Big Truck That Went By (Palgrave Macmillan), Jonathan M. Katz
This Changes Everything (Simon & Schuster), Naomi Klein

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2014. Judges: R. Erica Doyle, W. Ralph Eubanks, Chinelo Okparanta

An Unnecessary Woman (Grove Press), Rabih Alameddine
Every Day Is for the Thief (Random House), Teju Cole
An Untamed State (Black Cat), Roxane Gay
Citizen (Graywolf Press), Claudia Rankine
The City Son (Soho Press), Samrat Upadhyay

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in 2014. Judges: Emily Bernard, Nicholas Fox Weber, Jon Meacham

ebel Yell (Scribner), S. C. Gwynne
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace (Scribner), Jeff Hobbs
Strange Glory (Alfred A. Knopf), Charles Marsh
The Queen’s Bed (Sarah Crichton Books), Anna Whitelock
Piero’s Light (Pegasus Books), Larry Witham

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2014. Judges: Rich Cohen, George Dohrmann, Jonathan Mahler

Boy on Ice (W. W. Norton & Company), John Branch
Black Noon (Thomas Dunne Books), Art Garner
All Fishermen are Liars (Simon & Schuster), John Gierach
Ping-Pong Diplomacy (Scribner), Nicholas Griffin
Deep (Eamon Dolan Books), James Nestor

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2014. Judge: Ana Božičević

Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream by Kim Hyesoon (Action Books), translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi
I Am the Beggar of the World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the Pashto by Eliza Griswold
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz by Juana Inés de la Cruz (W. W. Norton & Company), translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
Breathturn into Timestead by Paul Celan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the German byPierre Joris
Guantanamo by Frank Smith (Les Figues Press), translated from the French by Vanessa Place

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2014. Judges: Heather Cleary, Lucas Klein, Tess Lewis, Allison Markin Powell

 

The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla (New York Review Books), translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush
The Symmetry Teacher by Andrei Bitov (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon
Baboon by Naja Marie Aidt (Two Lines Press), translated from the Danish by Denise Newman
Texas: The Great Theft by Carmen Boullosa (Deep Vellum Publishing), translated from the Spanish bySamantha Schnee
Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye (Two Lines Press), translated from the French by Jordan Stump

2015 Career Achievement Awards
(The following PEN Awards do not have longlists. The winners will be announced on May 13 along with the winners for the book awards.)

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: John Freeman, Roxane Gay, Cristina Henríquez

PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry ($5,000) For an emerging American poet showing promise of further literary achievement. Judges: Marie Howe, Mary Szybist, Craig Morgan Teicher

PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Awards for Drama($7,500 & $2,500) Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, Playwright in Mid-career, and Emerging Playwright. Judges: Kathleen Chalfant, Ellen McLaughlin, Adam Rapp

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: Mike Barnicle, Franklin Foer, Selena Roberts

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: Viola Canales, Selene Castrovilla, Elizabeth Levy

PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation For a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of his or her work. Chosen by the PEN Translation Committee

PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing($2,500) For a magazine editor whose high literary taste has, throughout his or her career, contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits. Judges: Christopher Castellani, Carmela Ciuraru, Bill Clegg

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants($2,000-$4,000) To support the translation of book-length works into English. Judges: Esther Allen, Mitzi Angel, Peter Blackstock, Howard Goldblatt, Sara Khalili, Michael F. Moore*, Declan Spring, Alex Zucker (*Voting Chair of PEN/Heim Advisory Board)