Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Great Man Wins PEN/Faulkner

Kate Christensen has been awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. The award is a national prize which honors the best published works of fiction by American citizens in a calendar year.

The Washington Post breaks the story:
PEN/Faulkner judge Molly Giles called the novel “intelligent, consistently entertaining and original.” Fellow judge Victor LaValle called the women at its center “defiant, infuriating and alive.”
**(I guess that “alive” thing would be to contrast and compare with The Lovely Bones, where the central female character was not.)

The Post found Christensen in her laundry room:
“I’m really shocked,” said Christensen, 45, who was doing the laundry in her Brooklyn home when the phone call came. All writers know about the PEN/Faulkner Award, she said, but to her “it’s always seemed unattainable.”
Also in the running:

The Maytrees (HarperCollins) by Annie Dillard
The Indian Clerk (Bloomsbury USA) by David Leavitt
The Gateway: Stories (Southern Methodist University Press) by T.M. McNally
Chemistry and Other Stories (Picador) by Ron Rash

Last year, January ran a review of The Great Man by Tony Buchsbaum:
Christensen’s writing is luminous and enviably informed. I found things to love on every page. Using the telling detail, the thought, the gesture, she builds characters -- but even more impressive, she builds character. Reading about these people, you like them. You feel warmed by them, entertained by them. You can see yourself sitting down for dinner with them and delighted to say not one word for hours, listening to their every reminiscence.
You can read all of Buchsbaum’s review here.

** To avoid the confusion possible by introducing the idea of Alice Sebold’s wonderful 2003 novel here, I should say that The Lovely Bones was neither a winner of nor shortlisted for The PEN/Faulkner. (Frankly, there are people spinning at the mere whisper.) However, the book won the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2003.



Post a Comment

<< Home