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PEN/Faulkner Award

Named after famed American author William Faulkner and the international writers' organization PEN, the PEN/Faulkner Award is one of the top literary awards in the United States. The PEN/Faulkner Award was founded in 1980 by Mary Le Settle, an author who won the National Book Award in 1978. The Pen/Faulkner organization prides itself on identifying and celebrating new and emerging authors.

The award is presented annually, with the directors of the Pen/Faulkner Foundation choosing three writers to serve as judges. The judges select five books as the nominees, and then they choose the winner. Over 350 books are submitted each year, the competition is fierce. The winning novel is considered to be "first among equals".

The finalists are invited to Washington, DC for the awards ceremony, and the judges present their citations on each work. The judges even read from their citations on stage during the award presentation. Whe not honoring the best fiction writers in the country, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation remains committed to raising literary awareness and events in the Washington area.

The first winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction was Walter Abish for his work, How German Is It?. Other past winners include Richard Wiley for Soldiers in Hiding, Philip Roth for Operation Shylock, and Ann Patchett for Bel Canto.

2013 Winner

Everything Begins and Ends At the Kentucky Club By Benjamin Alire Saenz

Benjamin Alire Sáenz's stories reveal how all borders—real, imagined, sexual, human, the line between dark and light, addict and straight—entangle those who live on either side. Take, for instance, the Kentucky Club on Avenida Juárez two blocks... read more


2012 Winner

The Buddha In the Attic By Julie Otsuka

Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California. She is the author of the novel, When the Emperor was Divine, and a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship. She lives... read more


2009 Winner

Netherland

Netherland By Joseph O'neill

Netherland (2008) is a critically acclaimed novel by Joseph O'Neill. It concerns the life of a Dutchman living in New York in the wake of the September 11 attacks who takes up cricket and starts playing at the Staten Island Cricket Club.


2008 Winner

The Great Man

The Great Man By Kate Christensen

From the acclaimed author of The Epicure's Lament, a novel of literary rivalry in which two competing biographers collide in their quest for the truth about a great artist.Oscar Feldman, the "Great Man," was a New York city painter of the heroic gene... read more


2007 Winner

Everyman

Everyman By Philip Roth

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral . In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice ... read more


2006 Winner

The March

The March By E L Doctorow

In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces and lived off the land, pillaging the S... read more


2005 Winner

War Trash

War Trash By Ha Jin

War Trash is a novel by the Chinese author Ha Jin, who has long lived in the United States and who writes in English. It takes the form of a memoir written by the fictional character Yu Yuan, a man who eventually becomes a soldier in the Chinese Peop... read more


2004 Winner

The Early Stories

The Early Stories By John Updike

A grand collection of John Updike's inimitable early stories.Gathering together almost all the short fiction that John Updike published between 1953 and 1975, this collection opens with Updike's autobiographical stories about a young boy growing up d... read more


2003 Winner

The Caprices

The Caprices By Sabina Murray

From an acclaimed young author of Filipino background comes this history told through individual lives. The Caprices revolves around the Pacific Campaign of World War II. In the wreckage of bombed cities and overcrowded prison camps, there were no w... read more


2002 Winner

Bel Canto

Bel Canto By Ann Patchett

PerfectBound e-book exclusive: "Friendship and Love," an interview with Ann Patchett.A prolonged hostage crisis in the lavish home of a South American politician turns into something quite different as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds a... read more


2001 Winner

The Human Stain

The Human Stain By Philip Roth

The Human Stain is a novel by Philip Roth Human Stain is the second studio album released by the hard rock band Cornerstone.


2000 Winner

Waiting

Waiting By Ha Jin

Jīn Xuěfēi is a contemporary Chinese-American writer using the pen name Ha Jin. He was born in Liaoning, China. The novel, Waiting , won the National Book Awards in 1999. This moving and deeply ironic novel centers on the lives of three people. ... read more


1998 Winner

The Bear Comes Home

The Bear Comes Home By Rafi Zabor

The Bear Comes Home is a novel written by Rafi Zabor. It won the 1998 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. It was selected as an alternate for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. The novel tells the story of an alto saxophone-playing bear, his involvement... read more


1996 Winner

Independence Day

Independence Day By Richard Ford

Richard Ford is the author of two story collections and five novels.


1995 Winner

Snow Falling On Cedars

Snow Falling On Cedars By David Guterson

Snow Falling on Cedars is a novel written by American writer David Guterson. Guterson, who at the time was a teacher, wrote the book in the early morning hours over a ten-year period. Because of the success of the novel, however, he quit his job and ... read more


1994 Winner

Operation Shylock

Operation Shylock By Philip Roth

Operation Shylock: A Confession is novelist Philip Roth's 19th book and was published in 1993. The novel follows narrator "Philip Roth" on a journey to Israel where he attends the trial of accused war criminal John Demjanjuk. At the sam... read more


1993 Winner

Postcards

Postcards By Proulx E Annie

Postcards may mean: The plural of postcard Postcards (TV series), an Australian magazine television series Postcards (novel), a novel by E. Annie Proulx "Postcards", a song by the Blizzards from their album Domino Effect "Postcards&quo... read more


1992 Winner

Mao II

Mao II By Don Delillo

Mao II, published in 1991, is Don DeLillo's tenth novel. It was the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1992. The title is derived from a series of Andy Warhol silkscreen prints depicting Mao Zedong. This book was dedicated to DeLillo's edito... read more


1991 Winner

Philadelphia Fire

Philadelphia Fire By John Edgar Wideman

From “one of America’s premier writers of fiction” (New York Times) comes this novel inspired by the 1985 police bombing of a West Philadelphia row house owned by the back-to-nature, Afrocentric cult known as Move. The bombing kille... read more


1990 Winner

Billy Bathgate

Billy Bathgate By E L Doctorow

Billy Bathgate is a 1989 novel by author E. L. Doctorow that won the 1989 National Book Critics Circle award for fiction for 1990 and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was the runner up for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize . The story is told in the fir... read more


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