Democracy Dies in Darkness


Jesmyn Ward’s ‘Sing, Unburied, Sing’ is among 5 PEN/Faulkner award finalists

March 7, 2018 at 5:00 AM

Jesmyn Ward’s novel “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” which won the National Book Award for fiction in November, has been named a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

Ward’s novel about an African American woman and her children picking up a man from prison, is one of five finalists named Wednesday by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in Washington. The other finalists:

●“In The Distance,” by Hernan Diaz (Coffee House), about a young Swedish immigrant in the American West.

●“The Dark Dark,” by Samantha Hunt (FSG Originals), a collection of fantastical short stories.

●“The Tower of the Antilles,” by Achy Obejas (Akashic), a collection of short stories about Cuban culture.

●“Improvement,” by Joan Silber (Counterpoint), about a single mother living in Harlem.

The PEN/Faulkner Award is America’s largest peer-juried prize for fiction. The winner, who will receive $15,000, is to be announced on April 4. The other finalists will receive $5,000 each.

This year’s judges are Andrea Barrett, Stacey D’Erasmo and Alex Espinoza. They considered more than 400 novels and story collections written by Americans and published in the United States in 2017.

The winner and four finalists will read from their work during the PEN/Faulkner award ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington on May 5. Tickets ($100) for the ceremony and reception can be purchased online or at the Folger Box Office at 202-544-7077.

Read more:

Review: Jesmyn Ward’s powerful novel, ‘Sing, Unburied, Sing’

Review: Joan Silber is America’s own Alice Munro — and her new novel shows why

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