PEN/Faulkner Makes a Statement With Its 2017 Fiction Award Finalists

PEN/Faulkner is a nonprofit literary organization that promotes a lifelong love of reading and a connection to writing through public events, in-school education and public promotion of exceptional literary achievement. They annually administer the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, one of the highest honors available to American fiction writers; on Tuesday, they announced the finalists for the 2017 award. The nominees are wonderfully diverse!
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These finalists include:

  • Viet Dinh, for After Disasters
  • Louise Erdrich, for LaRose
  • Garth Greenwell, for What Belongs to You
  • Imbolo Mbue, for Behold the Dreamers
  • Sunil Yapa, for The Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist


Four of the five finalists are first time novelists. Four of the five are people of color, and two are immigrants. One was born in Viet Nam, one in Cameroon, one is member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, one’s father is a native of Sri Lanka, one is gay.
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The judges who selected the finalists released a press statement which said, in part, “Taken together, the five finalists represent something worth reiterating today: that American fiction cannot be defined or contained by any particular border, wall or edit.”
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The winner will be announced April 4. The finalists will each receive $5,000 and the winner $15,000.

Congratulations to all the nominees!  And thank you, PEN/Faulkner Foundation.