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Announcing the 2017 Literary Awards Longlists

Pub Date:

Pen America

PEN America is pleased to announce the longlists for the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards. Over the past five days with the help of Mashable, PEN America celebrated 90 exceptional literary works, selected by the judges of our nine book awards. Learn more about the 2017 judges here

These nominations arrive just in time for the holiday season. With recommendations across the genres of fiction, nonfiction, science writing, sports writing, translation, and more, these longlisted titles are sure to provide gift inspiration for all the readers in your life.

Be sure to mark your calendars for upcoming announcements. The finalists for all book awards will be announced January 18, and the winners will be announced February 22, except those for the awards for debut fiction and essay as well as those for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and the PEN/Nabokov Award, all of which will be announced live at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 27 at The New School’s Tishman Auditorium in NYC. 

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize($25,000): For a fiction writer whose debut work represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. Judges: Jami Attenberg, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Randall Kenan, Hanna Pylväinen, and Akhil Sharma
Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky), Rion Amilcar Scott 
We Show What We Have Learned (Lookout Books/UNC Wilmington), Clare Beams 
The Mothers (Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House), Brit Bennett
The Wangs vs. the World (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Jade Chang 
When Watched (Penguin Books/Penguin Random House), Leopoldine Core 
Hide (Bloomsbury), Matthew Griffin
Homegoing (Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House), Yaa Gyasi 
Tuesday Nights in 1980 (Gallery/Scout Press/Simon & Schuster), Molly Prentiss 
Hurt People (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), Cote Smith 
Wreck and Order (Hogarth/Crown Publishing), Hannah Tennant-Moore 
PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays that exemplifies the dignity and esteem of the essay form.Judges: Eula Biss, Kiese Laymon, and Paul Steiger
The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood (Graywolf Press), Belle Boggs
Known and Strange Things (Random House), Teju Cole
Against Everything (Pantheon Books/Penguin Random House), Mark Greif
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and The Mind (Simon & Schuster), Siri Hustvedt
The Girls in My Town (University of New Mexico Press), Angela Morales
Soul at the White Heat (Ecco Press), Joyce Carol Oates
Becoming Earth (Red Hen Press), Eva Saulitis
Ethics in the Real World (Princeton University Press), Peter Singer
Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change (Scribner/ Simon & Schuster), Andrew Solomon
Hungry Heart (Atria Books/ Simon & Schuster), Jennifer Weiner
PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction($10,000): For a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective. Judges: Julia Angwin, Rich Benjamin, Jeff Biggers, Charles Duhigg, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Lizzie Stark, and Jessica Valenti
Drinking in America: Our Secret History (Twelve/Hachette Book Group), Susan Cheever 
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown/Penguin Random House), Matthew Desmond 
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Viking/Penguin Random House), Nancy Isenberg 
Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help (Penguin Books/Penguin Random House), Larissa MacFarquhar 
The Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America (W.W. Norton & Company), Patrick Phillips 
Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury), Sam Quinones 
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Andrés Reséndez
The Train to the Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II (Scribner/Simon & Schuster), Jan Jarboe Russell 
Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran (Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House), Laura Secor 
Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship (Doubleday/Penguin Random House), Anjan Sundaram 
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. Judges: Emily Anthes, Amy Ellis Nutt, Robin Marantz Henig, and Emma Marris
The Genius of Birds (Penguin Press: Penguin Random House), Jennifer Ackerman 
What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins (Scientific American/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Jonathan Balcombe
Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets (Random House), Luke Dittrich 
Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature (Crown/Penguin Random House), Jordan Fisher Smith
Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History (Basic Books/Perseus Book Group),Dan Flores
How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of a Private Spaceflight (Penguin Press/Penguin Random House), Julian Guthrie
Lab Girl (Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House), Hope Jahren
The Gene: An Intimate History (Scribner/Simon & Schuster),Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Glass Universe (Viking/Penguin Random House), Dava Sobel
The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World’s Most Coveted Fish (Scribner/Simon & Schuster), Emily Voigt
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): For a nonfiction book on the subject of sports. Judges: Jay Capsian Jang, Juliet Macur, and David Owen
Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefine the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution (Crown Archetype/Penguin Random House), Jonathan Abrams 
American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner’s Legendary Rise (Hachette Books), Joe Drape 
The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers(HarperCollins), Michael Leahy 
Catching the Sky (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster), Colten Moore with Keith O’Brien 
Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA (Portfolio/Penguin Random House), Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss 
Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Jeff Pearlman
Playing Through the Whistle: Steel, Football, and an American Town (Atlantic Monthly Press/Grove Atlantic), S.L. Price 
Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcom X (Basic Books/Perseus Books Group), Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
Fastpitch: The Untold History of the Softball and the Women Who Made the Game(Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), Erica Westly 
Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop and Street Basketball (Columbia University Press), Onaje X.O. Woodbine
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in the United States. Judges: Evelyn C. White, Joyce Johnson, and Yunte Huang.
Jean Cocteau: A Life (Yale University Press), Claude Arnaud, translated from the French by Lauren Elkin & Charlotte Mandell
A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century (Bellevue Literary Press), Jerome Charyn 
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Liveright/W.W. Norton & Company), Ruth Franklin 
Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart (Alfred A. Knopf), Claire Harman 
Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), Joe Jackson 
A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (W.W. Norton & Company), Jane Kamensky
Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer (HarperCollins), Arthur Lubow 
Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White (HarperCollins), Michael Tisserand 
American Luthier: The Art and Science of the Violin (ForeEdge/University Press of New England), Quincy Whitney 
Louise Nevelson (Thames & Hudson USA), Laurie Wilson 
PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional work of literature by an author of color. Judges: Ishmael Beah, Major Jackson, and Bich Minh Nguyen
Blackass (Graywolf Press), A. Igoni Barrett 
Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt (Tim Duggan Books/ Crown Publishing Group) Yasmine El Rashidi 
The Book of Memory (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), Petina Gappah 
The Big Book of Exit Strategies (Alice James Books/University of Maine at Farmington), Jamaal May 
Behold the Dreamers (Random House), Imbolo Mbue 
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House), Helen Oyeyemi 
Look (Graywolf Press), Solmaz Sharif 
Problems (Coffee House Press), Jade Sharma 
Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press), Safiya Sinclair 
Blackacre: Poems (Graywolf Press), Monica Youn 
PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English. Judges: Mara Faye Lethem, Jeremy Tiang, Elizabeth Lowe, Annie Tucker, and Dennis Washburn
Confessions by Rabee Jaber (New Directions) translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid 
The Fox Was Ever the Hunter by Herta Muller (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company) translated from the German by Philip Boehm 
Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjón (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux) translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb 
Between Life and Death by Yoram Kaniuk (Restless Books) translated from the Hebrew byBarbara Harshav
One Hundred and Twenty-One Days by Michèle Audin (Deep Vellum Publishing) translated from the French by Christiana Hills 
Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap (Archipelago Books) translated from the German byTess Lewis 
Justine by Iben Mondrup (Open Letter Books) translated from the Danish by Kerri A. Pierce 
The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke (Grove Press) translated from the Chinese byCarlos Rojas 
The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Hogarth/Crown Publishing/Penguin Random House) translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith 
Limbo Beirut by Hilal Chouman (University of Texas Press) translated from the Arabic by Anna Ziajka Stanton
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English. Judges: Jennifer Grotz, Kyoo Lee, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Pearl: A New Verse Translation (Liveright/ W.W. Norton & Company) translated from the Middle English by Simon Armitage
Abyss by Ya Hsien (Zephyr Press) translated from the Chinese by John Balcom 
Voronezh Notebooks by Osip Mandelstam (New York Review of Books) translated from the Russian by Andrew Davis 
Building the Barricade by Anna Swir (Tavern Books) translated from the Polish by Piotr Florczyk 
Algaravias by Waly Salomao (Ugly Duckling Presse) translated from the Portuguese by Maryam Monalisa Gharavi 
Preludes and Fugues by Emmanuel Moses (Oberlin College Press) translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker 
Tale of Ise (Penguin Classics) translated from the Japanese by Peter MacMillan 
In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi (Archipelago Books) translated from the French by Donald Nicholson Smith 
Absolute Solitude by Dulce Maria Loynaz (Archipelago Books) translated from the Spanish by James O’Connor 
Twenty Girls to Envy Me: Selected Poems from Orit Gidali (University of Texas Press) translated from the Hebrew by Marcela Sulak 

2017 PEN America Career Achievement and Manuscript Awards
(The following awards do not have longlists.)

PEN/Jean Stein Book Award ($75,000): For a book-length  work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact. Judges: The five judges for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award will serve anonymously and be announced on March 27 along with the winner

.PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature ($50,000): To a writer of any genre for his or her body of work. Judges: Aravind Adiga, Ayad Ahktar, Robin Coste Lewis, Jessica Hagedorn, and Thrity Umrigar

PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History ($10,000): For an unpublished literary work of nonfiction that uses oral histor to illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement. Judges: Gaiutra Bahadur, Helen Epstein, and Dan Kennedy

PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards ($7,500 & $2,500): Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, American Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging American Playwright. Judges:Oskar Eustis, Michael C. Hall, and Young Jean Lee

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: Pete Hamill, Sally Jenkins, and Michael Sokolove

PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers ($2,000 to 12 writers): Recognizing twelve emerging fiction writers for their debut short story published in a literary magazine or cultural website in 2016. Judges: Marie-Helene Bertino, Kelly Link and Nina McConigley

: For a new and emerging American poet with the promise of further literary achievement 

Judges:

 Camille Dungy, Ada Limón, and Patrick Phillips

PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing ($2,500) To a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have, throughout his or her career, contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits. Judges: Michael Dumanis, David L. Ulin, and Caitlin McKenna

 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: Margarita Engle, Sharyn November, and Polly Schulman

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000-$4,000)