PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

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PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Awarded forFiction
Sponsored byPEN/Faulkner Foundation
CountryUnited States

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is awarded annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to the authors of the year's best works of fiction by living American citizens.[1] The winner receives US$15,000 and each of four runners-up receives US$5000. Finalists read from their works at the presentation ceremony in the Great Hall of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. The organization claims it to be "the largest peer-juried award in the country."[1] The award was first given in 1981.[2]

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is an outgrowth of William Faulkner's use of his 1949 Nobel Prize winnings to create the William Faulkner Foundation; among the charitable goals of the foundation was "to establish a fund to support and encourage new fiction writers." The foundation's first award for a "notable first novel," called the William Faulkner Foundation Award, was granted to John Knowles's A Separate Peace in 1961. The foundation was dissolved after 1970.

Mary Lee Settle was one of the founders of the PEN/Faulkner award following the controversy at the 1979 National Book Award, when PEN voted for a boycott on the grounds that the award had become too commercial.[2][3] The award is affiliated with the writers' organization International PEN.

The award is one of many PEN awards sponsored by PEN International affiliates in over 145 PEN centres around the world.

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction[edit]


PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winners, 1981-1989[4][5]
Year Author Title
1981 Walter Abish How German Is It
Shirley Hazzard The Transit of Venus
Walker Percy The Second Coming
Gilbert Sorrentino Aberration of Starlight
John Kennedy Toole A Confederacy of Dunces
1982 David Bradley The Chaneysville Incident
Donald Barthelme Sixty Stories
Richard Bausch Take Me Back
Mark Helprin Ellis Island and Other Stories
Marilynne Robinson Housekeeping
Robert Stone A Flag for Sunrise
1983 Toby Olson Seaview
Maureen Howard Grace Abounding
Bobbie Ann Mason Shiloh and Other Stories
George Steiner The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H.
Anne Tyler Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
William S. Wilson Birthplace
1984 John Edgar Wideman Sent for You Yesterday
Ron Hansen The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
William Kennedy Ironweed
Jamaica Kincaid At the Bottom of the River
Bernard Malamud The Stories
Cynthia Ozick The Cannibal Galaxy
1985 Tobias Wolff The Barracks Thief
Harriet Doerr Stones for Ibarra
Donald Hays The Dixie Association
David Leavitt Family Dancing
James Purdy On Glory's Course
1986 Peter Taylor The Old Forest and Other Stories
William Gaddis Carpenter's Gothic
Larry McMurtry Lonesome Dove
Hugh Nissenson The Tree of Life
Helen Norris The Christmas Wife: Stories
Grace Paley Later the Same Day
1987 Richard Wiley Soldiers in Hiding
Richard Ford The Sportswriter
Maureen Howard Expensive Habits
Charles R. Johnson The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Janet Kauffman Collaborators
1988 T. Coraghessan Boyle World's End
Richard Bausch Spirits, And Other Stories
Alice McDermott That Night
Cynthia Ozick The Messiah of Stockholm
Lawrence Thornton Imagining Argentina
1989 James Salter Dusk and Other Stories
Mary McGarry Morris Vanished
Thomas Savage The Corner of Rife and Pacific
Isaac Bashevis Singer The Death of Methuselah and Other Stories


PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winners, 1990-1999[4][5]
Year Author Title Ref.
1990 E.L. Doctorow Billy Bathgate
Russell Banks Affliction
Molly Gloss The Jump-Off Creek
Josephine Jacobsen On the Island: New and Selected Stories
Lynne Sharon Schwartz Leaving Brooklyn
1991 John Edgar Wideman Philadelphia Fire
Paul Auster The Music of Chance
Joanne Meschery A Gentleman's Guide to the Frontier
Steven Millhauser The Barnum Museum
Joanna Scott Arrogance
1992 Don DeLillo Mao II
Stephen Dixon Frog
Paul Gervais Extraordinary People
Allan Gurganus White People
1993 E. Annie Proulx Postcards
Francisco Goldman The Long Night of White Chickens
Maureen Howard Natural History
Robert Olen Butler A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Sylvia Watanabe Talking to the Dead
1994 Philip Roth Operation Shylock
Stanley Elkin Van Gogh's Room at Arles
Dagoberto Gilb The Magic of Blood
Fae Myenne Ng Bone
Kate Wheeler Not Where I Started From
1995 David Guterson Snow Falling on Cedars
Frederick Busch The Children in the Woods
Joyce Carol Oates What I Lived For
Ursula Hegi Stones from the River
Joanna Scott Various Antidotes
1996 Richard Ford Independence Day [6]
William H. Gass The Tunnel
Claire Messud When The World Was Steady
Madison Smartt Bell All Souls' Rising
A.J. Verdelle The Good Negress
1997 Gina Berriault Women in Their Beds
Daniel Akst St. Burl's Obituary
Kathleen Cambor The Book of Mercy
Ron Hansen Atticus
Jamaica Kincaid The Autobiography of My Mother
1998 Rafi Zabor The Bear Comes Home
Donald Antrim The Hundred Brothers
Rilla Askew The Mercy Seat
Mary Gaitskill Because They Wanted To
Francisco Goldman The Ordinary Seaman
1999 Michael Cunningham The Hours
Russell Banks Cloudsplitter
Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible
Brian Morton Starting Out in the Evening
Richard Selzer The Doctor Stories


PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winners, 2000-2009[4][5]
Year Author Title Ref.
2000 Ha Jin Waiting
Frederick Busch The Night Inspector
Ken Kalfus Pu-239 And Other Russian Fantasies
Elizabeth Strout Amy and Isabelle
Lily Tuck Siam, or the Woman Who Shot a Man
2001 Philip Roth The Human Stain
Michael Chabon The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Millicent Dillon Harry Gold
Denis Johnson The Name of the World
Mona Simpson Off Keck Road
2002 Ann Patchett Bel Canto
Karen Joy Fowler Sister Noon
Jonathan Franzen The Corrections
Claire Messud The Hunters
Manil Suri The Death of Vishnu
2003 Sabina Murray The Caprices
Peter Cameron The City of Your Final Destination
William Kennedy Roscoe
Victor LaValle The Ecstatic
Gilbert Sorrentino Little Casino
2004 John Updike The Early Stories: 1953-1975
Frederick Barthelme Elroy Nights
ZZ Packer Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Caryl Phillips A Distant Shore
Tobias Wolff Old School
2005 Ha Jin War Trash
Jerome Charyn The Green Lantern
Edwidge Danticat The Dew Breaker
Marilynne Robinson Gilead
Steve Yarbrough Prisoners of War
2006 E.L. Doctorow The March
Karen Fisher A Sudden Country
William Henry Lewis I Got Somebody in Staunton
James Salter Last Night
Bruce Wagner The Chrysanthemum Palace
2007 Philip Roth Everyman [7]
Charles D'Ambrosio The Dead Fish Museum
Deborah Eisenberg Twilight of the Superheroes
Amy Hempel The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
Edward P. Jones All Aunt Hagar's Children
2008 Kate Christensen The Great Man [8]
Annie Dillard The Maytrees
David Leavitt The Indian Clerk
T. M. McNally The Gateway
Ron Rash Chemistry and Other Stories
2009 Joseph O'Neill Netherland [9]
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum Ms. Hempel Chronicles
Susan Choi A Person of Interest
Richard Price Lush Life
Ron Rash Serena


PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winners, 2010-2019[5]
Year Author Title Ref.
2010 Sherman Alexie War Dances [10][4]
Barbara Kingsolver The Lacuna
Lorraine Lopéz Homicide Survivors Picnic
Lorrie Moore A Gate at the Stairs
Colson Whitehead Sag Harbor
2011 Deborah Eisenberg The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg [11][4]
Jennifer Egan A Visit from the Goon Squad [12]
Jaimy Gordon Lord of Misrule [12]
Eric Puchner Model Home [12]
Brad Watson Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives: Stories [12]
2012 Julie Otsuka The Buddha in the Attic [13][4]
Russell Banks Lost Memory of Skin [13][14]
Don DeLillo The Angel Esmeralda [13][14]
Anita Desai The Artist of Disappearance [13][14]
Steven Millhauser We Others: New and Selected Stories [13][14]
2013 Benjamin Alire Sáenz Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club [15][4]
Amelia Gray THREATS [16]
Laird Hunt Kind One [16]
T. Geronimo Johnson Hold It 'Til It Hurts [16]
Thomas Mallon Watergate [16]
2014 Karen Joy Fowler We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves [17]
Daniel Alarcón At Night We Walk in Circles [18]
Percival Everett Percival Everett by Virgil Russell [18]
Joan Silber Fools [18]
Valerie Trueblood Search Party: Stories of Rescue [18]
2015 Atticus Lish Preparation for the Next Life [19][20]
Jeffrey Renard Allen Song of the Shank [21]
Jennifer Clement Prayers for the Stolen [21]
Jenny Offill Dept. of Speculation [21]
Emily St. John Mandel Station Eleven [21]
2016 James Hannaham Delicious Foods [22][23]
Julie Iromuanya Mr. and Mrs. Doctor [24]
Viet Thanh Nguyen The Sympathizer [24]
Elizabeth Tallent Mendocino Fire: Stories [24]
Luis Alberto Urrea The Water Museum: Stories [24]
2017 Imbolo Mbue Behold the Dreamers [25][26]
Viet Dinh After Disasters [27]
Louise Erdrich LaRose [27]
Garth Greenwell What Belongs to You [27]
Sunil Yapa Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist [27]
2018 Joan Silber Improvement [28][29]
Hernán Diaz In the Distance [30]
Samantha Hunt The Dark Dark [30]
Achy Obejas The Tower of the Antilles [30]
Jesmyn Ward Sing, Unburied, Sing [30]
2019 Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi Call Me Zebra [31]
Blanche McCrary Boyd Tomb of the Unknown Racist
Richard Powers The Overstory
Ivelisse Rodriguez Love War Stories
Willy Vlautin Don't Skip Out on Me


PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winners, 2020-2029[5]
Year Author Title Ref.
2020 Chloe Aridjis Sea Monsters [32]
Yiyun Li Where Reasons End [33]
Peter Rock The Night Swimmers
Maurice Carlos Ruffin We Cast a Shadow
Ocean Vuong On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
2021 Deesha Philyaw The Secret Lives of Church Ladies [34][35]
Matthew Salesses Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear [36]
Rufi Thorpe The Knockout Queen
Robin Wasserman Mother Daughter Widow Wife
Steve Wiegenstein Scattered Lights
2022 Rabih Alameddine The Wrong End of the Telescope [37][38][39][40]
Nawaaz Ahmed Radiant Fugitives [41]
Carolyn Ferrell Dear Miss Metropolitan
Imbolo Mbue How Beautiful We Were
Carolina de Robertis The President and the Frog
2023 Yiyun Li The Book of Goose [42][43]
Jonathan Escoffery If I Survive You [42]
Laura Warrell Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm
Dionne Irving The Islands
Kathryn Harlan Fruiting Bodies: Stories
2024 Claire Jimenez What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez [44]
Jamel Brinkley Witness [42]
Henry Hoke Open Throat
Alice McDermott Absolution
Colin Winnette Users


  1. ^ a b "Award for Fiction". PEN/Faulkner Foundation. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Albin Krebs and Robert Thomas (April 18, 1981). "Notes on People; New York Writer Getting PEN/Faulkner Award". The New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  3. ^ Matt Schudel (September 29, 2005). "Novelist Mary Lee Settle; Founded PEN/Faulkner Award". Washington Post.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Past Winners & Finalists". PEN/Faulkner. Archived from the original on December 21, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e "PEN/Faulkner Award | American literary award". Britannica. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  6. ^ "Richard Ford Wins Library of Congress American Fiction Prize". Shelf Awareness. May 20, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  7. ^ "Awards: Philip Roth First Three-Time PEN/Faulkner Winner". Shelf Awareness. February 27, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  8. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner; Astrid Lindgren; Arabic Booker". Shelf Awareness. March 13, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  9. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction Winner". Shelf Awareness. February 26, 2009. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  10. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner; Hans Christian Andersen; Dan David". Shelf Awareness. March 24, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  11. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction; Orange Prize; Children's Choice". Shelf Awareness. March 16, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d "Awards: B&N Discover; Indies Choice; PEN/Faulkner Fiction". Shelf Awareness. March 3, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Awards: PEN/Faulkner; Arthur C. Clarke; RITA". Shelf Awareness. March 27, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  14. ^ a b c d "Awards: PEN/Faulkner; L.A. Times Book Prizes; Bocas Caribbean". Shelf Awareness. February 22, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  15. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction; Tony Ryan Horse Racing Lit". Shelf Awareness. March 20, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  16. ^ a b c d "Awards: B&N Discover; PEN/Faulkner Fiction; Lambda". Shelf Awareness. March 7, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  17. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction". Shelf Awareness. April 3, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  18. ^ a b c d "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction; B&N New Writers; N.E. Society". Shelf Awareness. March 6, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  19. ^ Charles, Ron (April 7, 2015). "Atticus Lish wins PEN/Faulkner Award". Washington Post. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  20. ^ "Awards: BTBA; Carnegie; Jackson; PEN/Faulkner; SCBWI Spark". Shelf Awareness. April 8, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  21. ^ a b c d "Awards: Hayek; Gilchrist; PEN/Faulkner; Wellcome; Schaffner". Shelf Awareness. March 11, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  22. ^ Charles, Ron (April 5, 2016). "James Hannaham wins PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction". Washington Post. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  23. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction; Astrid Lindgren; Reading the West". Shelf Awareness. April 6, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  24. ^ a b c d "Awards: PEN/Faulkner; Lambda Literary; Spark; ForeWord". Shelf Awareness. March 9, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  25. ^ Announcing the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner, PEN/Faulkner Foundation, 2017, archived from the original on July 31, 2018, retrieved April 4, 2017
  26. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction; Astrid Lindgren; Hugo". Shelf Awareness. April 5, 2017. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  27. ^ a b c d "Awards: PEN/Faulkner; Stella Prize; Louise Meriwether First Book". Shelf Awareness. March 8, 2017. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  28. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner, Philip K. Dick; Drue Heinz Winners". Shelf Awareness. April 5, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  29. ^ "Secrets of Happiness". Shelf Awareness. May 14, 2021. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  30. ^ a b c d "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction, EBRD Literature Finalists". Shelf Awareness. March 9, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  31. ^ "Awards: Faulkner Winner; Women's Prize for Fiction Shortlist". Shelf Awareness. April 30, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  32. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction Winner; Plutarch Finalists". Shelf Awareness. April 7, 2020. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  33. ^ Yee, Katie (April 6, 2020). "And the winner of the 2020 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is…". Literary Hub. Archived from the original on December 22, 2023. Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  34. ^ "Deesha Philyaw receives PEN/Faulkner award for 'Secret Lives of Church Ladies'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  35. ^ "Awards: Gotham Book, PEN/Faulkner for Fiction Winners". Shelf Awareness. April 7, 2021. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  36. ^ Maher, John (March 2, 2021). "2021 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists Named". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on December 22, 2023. Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  37. ^ "Announcing the Winner of the 2022 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction". PEN/Faulkner. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  38. ^ "PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winners". Powell's City of Books. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  39. ^ Yee, Katie (April 5, 2022). "Rabih Alameddine takes home the 2022 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction". Literary Hub. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  40. ^ "Awards: PEN/Faulkner Fiction Longlist, Literary Champion". Shelf Awareness. April 6, 2022. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  41. ^ "Awards: Joyce Carol Oates, PEN/Faulkner Fiction Finalists". Shelf Awareness. March 4, 2022. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  42. ^ a b c "The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction". The PEN/Faulkner Foundation. Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  43. ^ "Yiyun Li's 'The Book of Goose' wins PEN/Faulkner award". ABC News. Associated Press. April 4, 2023. Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  44. ^ "Announcing the Winner of the 2024 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction". The PEN/Faulkner Foundation. Retrieved April 11, 2024.

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