2015 Pen Literary Awards Shortlists Announced

Posted on April 16, 2015

The PEN American Center announced the names of the judges and the shortlists for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards. The debut fiction award features a $25,000 cash prize.

The shortlist for debut fiction has five finalists: The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol (W. W. Norton & Company), Ruby by Cynthia Bond (Hogarth), Redeployment by Phil Klay (Penguin Press), The Dog by Jack Livings (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce (Doubleday).

Paul La Farge, Carolyn Fraser, Katie Kitamura and Victor LaValle will be judging the debut fiction award. The debut fiction prize is given to an author whose debut work represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. The work can be a collection of short stories or a novel which was published in 2014.

The shortlist for the PEN Open Book Award includes An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine (Grove Press), Every Day Is for the Thief by Teju Cole (Random House), An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (Black Cat) Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf Press) and The City Son by Samrat Upadhyay (Soho Press).

The Pen Open Book Award carries a cash prize of $5,000. It is awarded to "an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2014." The judges for this shortlist category are Chinelo Okparanta, . Erica Doyle and W. Ralph Eubanks.

The authors are just starting to react to the news. Cynthia Bond, whose novel Ruby was featured on Oprah's Book Club, was succinct in her reaction to the news, tweeting "Wonderful!" Rabih Alameddine tweeted "Yay!" to the news that his novel An Unnecessary Woman made the shortlist.

You can see all the shortlists here.