2021 PEN America Literary Award Finalists

The 2021 PEN America Literary Awards have been announced. The complete list of finalists is here. The list of winners is here.

Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel by Kawai Strong Washburn, nominated in two categories, received the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel ($10,000 prize) during the award ceremony on April 8. It was the only work of genre interest to win one of the awards. (The book was on PEN America Voice of Influence Awardee Barack Obama’s list of best books of 2020.)

The finalists of genre interest include:

PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD

To a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact, which has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.

  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel, Kawai Strong Washburn (MCD)

PEN OPEN BOOK AWARD

To an exceptional book-length work of any literary genre by an author of color.

  • A Treatise on Stars, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge (New Directions Publishing)

PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD FOR DEBUT NOVEL

To a debut novel of exceptional literary merit by an American author.

  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel, Kawai Strong Washburn (MCD)

PEN TRANSLATION PRIZE

For a book-length translation of prose from any language into English.

  • Ornamental, Juan Cárdenas (Coffee House Press); Translated from the Spanish by Lizzie Davis
  • Girls Lost, Jessica Schiefauer (Deep Vellum); Translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel

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