By Dennis Abrams
PEN America has announced the winners and runners-up of the 2013 PEN Literary Awards, called “the most comprehensive literary awards program in the country.”
This year’s recipients included Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Katherine Boo, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, playwright Larry Kramer, co-editors of Mother Jones Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, sportswriter Frank Deford, and debut novelist Sergio De La Pava.
Among this year’s winners:
Sergio De La Pava, A Naked Singularity (University of Chicago Press), PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for an author whose debut work — a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2012 — represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.
Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Random House), PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction, for 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 the United States during 2011 or 2012.
Robert Hass, What Light Can Do (Ecco), PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, for a book of essays published in 2012 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.
Tom Reiss,The Black Count, PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography, for a distinguished biography published in 2012.
Amy Goldman Koss, The Intake Office, PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, for an author of children’s or young-adult fiction, who has published at least two novels, to complete a book-length work-in-progress.
Michelle Markel, The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, (Eerdmans), PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing, to a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book published in 2012.
Molly Weigel, The Shock of the Lenders and Other Poems by Jorge Santiago Perednik (Action Books), PEN/Award for Poetry in Translation, for a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2012.
Donald O. White, The Island of Second Sight by Alfred Vigoleis Thelen (Overlook Press), PEN Translation Prize, for a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2012.
For a complete list of winners and runners-up, click here.