Weekend Words: PEN/Faulkner Award

When searching for a new book to read, I’m often swayed by it being given a Booker, a Pulitzer or other award. But what do literary awards really mean? In the case of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, it is the largest peer-juried award in the United States. This year more than 300 works were submitted and the winner is Kate Christensen’s The Great Man. Christensen will be honored with $15,000 at a ceremony next month. Past Faulkner winners which I’ve also blogged about are David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours.

The PEN/Faulkner was founded by writers in 1980, and named for William Faulkner, who used his Nobel Prize funds to create an award for young writers, and PEN, the international writers’ organization. In addition to the annual award, the foundation also promotes a love of literature through a reading series and school programs.

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