The PEN American Center has just announced the finalists for its 2015 slate of literary prizes, which will include $150,000 in total awards for a selection of writers, editors, and translators in several categories, including debut fiction, science writing, nonfiction, essay writing, poetry, books in translation, editing, literary biography, sportswriting, and a book-length work by a writer of color.
The last of these, awarded as the PEN Open Book Award, is by many lengths the strongest shortlist of the bunch. Finalists include Rabih Alameddine for An Unnecessary Woman, Teju Cole for Every Day Is for the Thief, Roxane Gay for An Untamed State, Claudia Rankine for Citizen: An American Lyric, and Samrat Upadhyay for The City Son.
The complete lists also includes Cynthia Bond, Leslie Jamison, and Naomi Klein. The winners will be announced May 13th and awarded at the New School on June 8th.
Now in its tenth decade, the PEN American Center works to ensure that “people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others.”