October 17, 2012 | PEN American
For more than 50 years, PEN American Center has honored some of the most outstanding voices in literature with its literary awards program. We’re proud to present excerpts from the 2012 Literary Award winners below. And find out more about PEN’s awards program here.
Susan Nussbaum, Good Kings Bad Kings (winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction)
The PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Founded by Barbara Kingsolver ($25,000) is awarded to the author of a previously unpublished novel that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. This award was offered for the first time in 2012. Judged by Rosellen Brown, Margot Livesey, and Kathy Pories.
The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000) is awarded to an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2011—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. Judged by Lauren Groff, Dinaw Mengestu, and Nami Mun.
E. L. Doctorow (winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction)
The PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction ($25,000) is awarded to an exceptionally talented writer of fiction whose body of work places him or her in the highest rank of American literature. Judged by Don DeLillo, Jennifer Egan, and George Saunders.