Iraq War veteran Phil Klay is one of the many PEN Literary Award finalists announced April 16. Klay’s “Redployment” is one of five books competing for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, worth $25,000. The much-lauded story collection has already won a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award.
Among the other finalists for prizes in nine different categories were Cynthia Bond, whose debut novel, “Ruby” was an Oprah Book Club pick; poet Claudia Rankine, whose “Citizen: An American Lyric” nabbed a National Book Critics Circle Award last month; Leslie Jamison for her essay collection, “The Empathy Exams”; and S.C. Gwynne for “Rebel Yell,” his biography of Civil War general Stonewall Jackson.
Most of the winners will be announced on May 13, and the awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York on June 8. This year PEN is giving 19 awards, fellowships, grants and prizes equaling almost $150,000.
Here is a list of PEN Literary Award finalists:
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction ($25,000)
To an author whose debut work — a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2014 — represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.
“The UnAmericans” by Molly Antopol (W. W. Norton)
“Ruby” Cynthia Bond (Hogarth)
“Redeployment” by Phil Klay (Penguin Press)
“The Dog” Jack Livings (FSG),
“Love Me Back” by Merritt Tierce (Doubleday)
PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000)
For a book of essays published in 2014 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.
“Moral Imagination” by David Bromwich (Princeton University Press)
“Theater of Cruelty” by Ian Buruma (New York Review Books)
“Loitering” by Charles D’Ambrosio (Tin House Books)
“The Empathy Exams” Leslie Jamison (Graywolf Press)
“Limber” by Angela Pelster (Sarabande Books)
PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000)
For a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences published in 2014.
“War of the Whales” by Joshua Horwitz (Simon & Schuster)
“How We Got to Now” by Steven Johnson (Riverhead Books)
“The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Holt)
“The Age of Radiance” by Craig Nelson (Scribner)
“Proof” by Adam Rogers (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000)
To an author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues which has been published in 2013 or 2014.
“Our Declaration” by Danielle Allen (Liveright)
“League of Denial” by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru (Crown Archetype)
“Five Days at Memorial” by Sheri Fink (Crown)
“The Big Truck That Went By” by Jonathan M. Katz (Palgrave Macmillan)
“This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein (Simon & Schuster)
PEN Open Book Award ($5,000)
For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2014.
“An Unnecessary Woman” by Rabih Alameddine (Grove Press)
“Every Day Is for the Thief” by Teju Cole (Random House)
“An Untamed State” by Roxane Gay (Black Cat/Grove Atlantic)
“Citizen” by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf Press)
“The City Son” by Samrat Upadhyay (Soho Press)
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000)
For a distinguished biography published in 2014.
“Rebel Yell” by S. C. Gwynne (Scribner)
“The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace” by Jeff Hobbs (Scribner)
“Strange Glory” by Charles Marsh (Alfred A. Knopf)
“The Queen’s Bed” Anna Whitelock (Sarah Crichton Books)
“Piero’s Light” Larry Witham (Pegasus Books)
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)
To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2014.
“Boy on Ice” by John Branch (W. W. Norton)
“Black Noon” by Art Garner (Thomas Dunne Books)
“All Fishermen Are Liars” by John Gierach (Simon & Schuster)
“Ping-Pong Diplomacy” by Nicholas Griffin (Scribner)
“Deep” by James Nestor (Eamon Dolan Books)
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000)
For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2014.
“Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream” by Kim Hyesoon (Action Books), translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi
“I Am the Beggar of the World,” translated from the Pashto by Eliza Griswold (FSG)
“Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz” by Juana Inés de la Cruz, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman (W. W. Norton)
“Breathturn into Timestead” by Paul Celan, translated from the German by Pierre Joris (FSG)
“Guantánamo” by Frank Smith, translated from the Spanish by Vanessa Place (Les Figues Press)
PEN Translation Prize ($3,000)
For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2014.
“The Gray Notebook” by Josep Pla, translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush (New York Review Books)
“The Symmetry Teacher” by Andrei Bitov, translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon (FSG)
“Baboon” by Naja Marie Aidt, translated from the Danish by Denise Newman (Two Lines Press)
“Texas: The Great Theft” by Carmen Boullosa, translated from the Spanish by Samantha Schnee (Deep Vellum Publishing)
“Self-Portrait in Green” by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by Jordan Stump (Two Lines Press)