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Janet Malcolm, Hanya Yanagihara, and Victoria Wilson Among 2014 PEN Literary Award Nominees

Janet Malcolm, Hanya Yanagihara, and Victoria Wilson Among 2014 PEN Literary Award Nominees

Janet Malcolm, Hanya Yanagihara, and Victoria Wilson are some of the female writers shortlisted for the 2014 PEN Literary Awards

Yanagihara is the only woman writer eligible for one of the PEN American Center’s most prestigious prizes, the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for best debut novel or short-story collection. 

Yanagihara’s The People in the Trees is based on the life of real-life Nobel Prize-winning scientist D. Carleton Gajdusek, who later became infamous for sexually abusing one of the many children he adopted. 

The finalists of the $10,00 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay include Janet Malcolm’s Forty-One False Starts and Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby.

Only two categories featured a majority of women nominees: the PEN Open Book Award for writers of color and the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for best biography. Among the shortlisted in the latter category is Victoria Wilson, who published A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940, the first of two volumes, late last year. 

The winners will be announced on July 30 and honored at a ceremony on September 29. 

The female nominees in all the PEN categories are listed below: 

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000): To an author whose debut work — a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2013 — represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.


The People in the Trees (Doubleday), Hanya Yanagihara

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2013 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.


Forty-One False Starts (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Janet Malcolm
The Faraway Nearby (Viking Adult), Rebecca Solnit 

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 2013.


Five Days at Memorial (Crown), Sheri Fink

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2013.


Leaving Tulsa (University of Arizona Press), Jennifer Elise Foerster
domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press), Ruth Ellen Kocher
Cowboys and East Indians (FiveChapters Books), Nina McConigley
Ghana Must Go (Penguin Press), Taiye Selasi

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in 2013.


Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Linda Leavell
Margaret Fuller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Megan Marshall
American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Deborah Solomon
A Life of Barbara Stanwyck (Simon & Schuster), Victoria Wilson

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2013.


Diaries of Exile by Yannis Ritsos (Archipelago), Karen Emmerich & Edmund Keeley
Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson by Yosa Buson (Copper Canyon Press), Takako Lento & W.S. Merwin

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2013.


An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman (New York Review Books), Elizabeth & Robert Chandler
Transit by Anna Seghers (New York Review Books), Margot Bettauer Dembo
Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (New York Review Books), Joanne Turnbull & Nikolai Formozov

[via NY Times]

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