Imbolo Mbue, Carolyn Ferrell are PEN/Faulkner Award 2022 finalists

Imbolo Mbue and Carolyn Ferrell were revealed to be finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award 2022 on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, first handed out in 1981, is awarded annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to the authors of the year’s best works of fiction by living US American citizens. Some of the previous winners have been Imbolo Mbue in 2017 and Deesha Philyaw in 2021.

The judging panel for this year comprises Eugenia Kim, Rebecca Makkai, and Rion Amilcar Scott. In a statement, they said, “The voices you’ll find in the five PEN/Faulkner award finalists speak in strange frequencies, lower registers, voices often unheard. But these are sounds that demand we listen, books that delight us first with their sentences, endear us to their characters, and then slowly alter and derange our senses, shifting our perspectives, forcing us to see the world in all its complexity and beauty as only the best literature can.”

The longlist for the awards was revealed on February 1 before Thursday’s announcement. Writers of African descent finalists are;

  • Dear Miss Metropolitan, Carolyn Ferrell (Henry Holt)
  • How Beautiful We Were, Imbolo Mbue (Random House)

Carolyn Ferrell tweeted on her listing, “I’m honored and humbled to be included among these writers. Thanks for PEN Faulkner and to the PEN Faulkner judges! 💜”

The winner of the award will be made public at a ceremony on May 2.