Complete List of 2017 Pen America Longlists

Last week, we highlighted the Pen America Open Book Award longlist, which honors exceptional book-length works of literature by an author of color, and promised a complete rundown of the longlists from all the categories once they had all been released.  They have been, and here you go!

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction – Given to an author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues:

  • Drinking in America: Our Secret History by Susan Cheever
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
  • Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help by Larissa MacFarquhar
  • The Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America by Patrick Phillips
  • Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
  • The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
  • The Train to the Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II by Jan Jarboe Russell
  • Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran by Laura Secor
  • Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship by Anjan Sundaram


PEN Translation Prize – Given to a book-length translation of prose into English:

  • Confessions by Rabee Jaber, translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid
  • The Fox Was Ever the Hunter by Herta Muller, translated from the German by Philip Boehm
  • Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjón, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
  • Between Life and Death by Yoram Kaniuk, translated from the Hebrew by Barbara Harshav
  • One Hundred and Twenty-One Days by Michèle Audin, translated from the French by Christiana Hills
  • Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap, translated from the German by Tess Lewis
  • Justine by Iben Mondrup, translated from the Danish by Kerri A. Pierce
  • The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke, translated from the Chinese by Carlos Rojas
  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith
  • Limbo Beirut by Hilal Chouman, translated from the Arabic by Anna Ziajka Stanton


PEN Award for Poetry in Translation – Given to a book-length translation of poetry into English:

  • Pearl: A New Verse Translation by The Pearl Poet, translated from the Middle English by Simon Armitage
  • Abyss by Ya Hsien, translated from the Chinese by John Balcom
  • Voronezh Notebooks by Osip Mandelstam, translated from the Russian by Andrew Davis
  • Building the Barricade by Anna Swir, translated from the Polish by Piotr Florczyk
  • Algaravias by Waly Salomao, translated from the Portuguese by Maryam Monalisa Gharavi
  • Preludes and Fugues by Emmanuel Moses, translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker
  • Tales of Ise, translated from the Japanese by Peter MacMillan
  • In Praise of Defeat: Poems by Abdellatif Laâbi, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith
  • Absolute Solitude: Selected Poems by Dulce Maria Loynaz, translated from the Spanish by James O’Connor
  • Twenty Girls to Envy Me: Selected Poems from Orit Gidali, translated from the Hebrew by Marcela Sulak


PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay – Given to a book of essays that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature:

  • The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine and Motherhood by Belle Boggs
  • Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole
  • Against Everything by Mark Greif
  • A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind by Siri Hustvedt
  • The Girls in My Town by Angela Morales
  • Soul at the White Heat by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Becoming Earth by Eva Saulitis
  • Ethics in the Real World by Peter Singer
  • Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change by Andrew Solomon
  • Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner


PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography – Given to a distinguished biography:

  • Jean Cocteau: A Life by Claude Arnaud, translated from the French by Lauren Elkin & Charlotte Mandell
  • A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century by Jerome Charyn
  • Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
  • Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman
  • Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary by Joe Jackson
  • A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley by Jane Kamensky
  • Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer by Arthur Lubow
  • Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White by Michael Tisserand
  • American Luthier: Carleen Hutchins–the Art and Science of the Violin by Quincy Whitney
  • Louise Nevelson by Laurie Wilson


PEN Open Book Award – Given to an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color:

  • Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett
  • Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt by Yasmine El Rashidi
  • The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
  • The Big Book of Exit Strategies by Jamaal May
  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  • What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
  • Look by Solmaz Sharif
  • Problems by Jade Sharma
  • Cannibal by Safiya Sinclair
  • Blackacre by Monica Youn


PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing – Given to honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports:

  • Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution by Jonathan Abrams
  • American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner’s Legendary Rise by Joe Drape
  • The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers by Michael Leahy
  • Catching the Sky by Colten Moore and Keith O‘Brien
  • Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA by Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss
  • Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre by Jeff Pearlman
  • Playing Through the Whistle: Steel, Football, and an American Town by S.L. Price
  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcom X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
  • Fastpitch: The Untold History of the Softball and the Women Who Made the Game by Erica Westly
  • Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball by Onaje X.O. Woodbine


PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction – Given to an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise:

  • Insurrections by Rion Amilcar Scott
  • We Show What We Have Learned by Clare Beams
  • The Mothers by Brit Bennett
  • The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
  • When Watched by Leopoldine Core
  • Hide by Matthew Griffin
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss
  • Hurt People by Cote Smith
  • Wreck and Order by Hannah Tennant-Moore


PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award – Given to a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences:

  • The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
  • What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe
  • Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich
  • Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature by Jordan Fisher Smith
  • Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History by Dan Flores
  • How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of a Private Spaceflight by Julian Guthrie
  • Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
  • The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel
  • The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World’s Most Coveted Fish by Emily Voigt


Additionally, these “Career Achievement and Manuscript Awards” will be awarded, but do not have a longlist:

  • PEN/Nabokov Award in International Literature – Given to a writer of any genre and of any nationality for their exceptional body of work
  • PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers – Given to recognize 12 emerging fiction writers for their debut short story
  • PEN/Jean Stein Book Award – Given to recognize a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact
  • PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History – Given to a literary work of nonfiction that uses oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place or movement
  • PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards – Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, American Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging American Playwright
  • PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry – Given to an emerging American poet of any age showing promise of further literary achievement
  • PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing – Given to a writer whose body of work represents an exceptional contribution to the field
  • PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship – Given to an author of a children’s or young-adult fiction to complete a book-length work-in-progress
  • PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing – Given to a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits
  • PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants – Given to support the translation of book-length works into English


The finalists for the awards will be announced on January 18, with the winners revealed on February 22.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

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