Awards Fiction United States

Deesha Philyaw is PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction 2021 finalist

Deesha Philyaw is a finalist of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction 2021 announced on March 2, 2021.

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is awarded annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to the authors of the year’s best works of fiction by living American citizens. The winner receives US$15,000 and each of the four runners-up receives US$5000. One of the previous winners for the award, first handed out in 1981, is Imbolo Mbue who received it for her debut novel Behold The Dreamers in 2017.

The judges for the 2021 edition are Charles Finch, Bernice L. McFadden, and Alexi Zentner and they have announced the finalists for this year’s edition of the prize. They are;

  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Deesha Philyaw, West Virginia University Press
  • Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, Matthew Salesses, Little A
  • The Knockout Queen, Rufi Thorpe, Alfred A Knopf
  • Mother Daughter Widow Wife, Robin Wasserman, Scribner
  • Scattered Lights, Steve Wiegenstein, Cornerpost.

‘The five finalists for this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award are very different, their dazzling voices restrained, chaotic, tender, and funny in turn,’ the judges said. ‘But all five are radical truth-seekers. In their worlds, we return to the most essential questions about how we live and why: the questions that our present moment in history has prompted, too.’

Deesha’s response to her nomination was simple; “Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!”

All five authors–along with inaugural PEN/Faulkner Literary Champion, @levarburton –will be honored on May 10 at the 41st Anniversary PEN/Faulkner Award Celebration. Click here to register.

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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