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Here are your 2020 PEN America literary awards finalists.

Emily Temple

January 28, 2020, 3:34pm

Today, PEN America announced their 2020 PEN America Literary Awards Finalists. The awards will dole out 330,000 to writers and translators for exceptional works published in 2019. The winners will be announced live on March 2, at the 2020 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony, which will be hosted by Seth Meyers. Literary Hub would like to publicly declare our support for our own Aaron Robertson, whose translation of Beyond Babylon is a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize. (Other than that we have no favorites.)

The 2020 PEN America Literary Awards Finalists are:

PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD ($75,000)

For 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.

The Undying, Anne Boyer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Deaf Republic, Ilya Kaminsky (Graywolf Press)

Where Reasons End, Yiyun Li (Random House)

The World Doesn’t Require You, Rion Amilcar Scott (Liveright)

Rusty Brown, Chris Ware (Pantheon Graphic Library)

PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM PRIZE FOR DEBUT SHORT STORY COLLECTION ($25,000)

To an author whose debut collection of short stories represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise for future work.

The Trojan War Museum, Ayşe Papatya Bucak (W.W. Norton & Company)

Sabrina & Corina, Kali Fajardo-Anstine (One World)

Last of Her Name, Mimi Lok (Kaya Press)

Home Remedies, Xuan Juliana Wang (Hogarth)

Lot, Bryan Washington (Riverhead Books)

PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD FOR DEBUT NOVEL ($25,000)

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

Stay and Fight, Madeline ffitch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

99 Nights in Logar, Jamil Jan Kochai (Viking)

Big Familia, Tomas Moniz (Acre Books)

The Travelers, Regina Porter (Hogarth)

A Prayer for Travelers, Ruchika Tomar (Riverhead Books)

PEN OPEN BOOK AWARD ($5,000)

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

Build Yourself a Boat, Camonghne Felix (Haymarket Books)

Be Recorder, Carmen Giménez Smith (Graywolf Press)

Erou, Maya Phillips (Four Way Books)

We Cast a Shadow, Maurice Carlos Ruffin (One World)

The Grave on the Wall, Brandon Shimoda (City Lights Books)

PEN TRANSLATION PRIZE ($3,000)

If You Cross the River: A Novel, Geneviève Damas (Milkweed Editions)
Translated from the French by Jody Gladding

The Ten Loves of Nishino, Hiromi Kawakami (Europa Editions)
Translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell

Beyond Babylon, Igiaba Scego (Two Lines Press)
Translated from the Italian by Aaron Robertson

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: A Novel, Olga Tokarczuk (Riverhead Books)
Translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

The Scent of Buenos Aires: Stories, Hebe Uhart (Archipelago Books)
Translated from the Spanish by Maureen Shaughnessy

PEN AWARD FOR POETRY IN TRANSLATION ($3,000)

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

Final Matters: Selected Poems, 2004-2010, Szilárd Borbély (Princeton University Press)
Translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet

Room in Rome, Jorge Eduardo Eielson (Cardboard House Press)
Translated from the Spanish by David Shook

Daybook 1918: Early Fragments, J.V. Foix (Northwestern University Press)
Translated from the Catalan by Lawrence Venuti

Killing Plato, Chantal Maillard (New Directions Publishing)
Translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert

The Winter Garden Photograph, Reina María Rodríguez (Ugly Duckling Presse)
Translated from the Spanish by Kristin Dykstra and Nancy Gates Madsen

PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY ($10,000)

For a collection of essays which exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.

I Used to Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz, Eve Babitz (New York Review Books Classics)

Resurrection of the Wild: Meditations on Ohio’s Natural Landscape, Deborah Fleming (Kent State University Press)

Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays, Leslie Jamison (Little, Brown and Company)

I Like To Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution, Emily Nussbaum (Random House)

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, Jia Tolentino (Random House)

PEN/JACQUELINE BOGRAD WELD AWARD FOR BIOGRAPHY ($5,000)

For a distinguished biography of exceptional literary, narrative, and artistic merit, based on scrupulous research.

Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas, Stephen Budiansky (W. W. Norton & Company)

Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall (W. W. Norton & Company)

Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures, Adina Hoffman (Yale University Press)

Sontag: Her Life and Work, Benjamin Moser (Ecco)

Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution, Helen Zia (Ballantine Books)

PEN/E.O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD ($10,000)

For a book that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of the physical or biological sciences and communicates complex scientific concepts to a lay audience.

Conscience: The Origins of Moral Intuition, Patricia S. Churchland (W. W. Norton & Company)

Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves, Frans de Waal (W. W. Norton & Company)

On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galapagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden, Elizabeth Hennessy (Yale University Press)

The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption, Dahr Jamail (New Press)

Losing Earth: A Recent History, Nathaniel Rich (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

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