BP MARKOWITZ, AT&T JOIN BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL “AT&T FAN FAVE” WINNER PAUL AUSTER TO PRESENT $3,000 PRIZE TO PEN AMERICAN CENTER’S FREEDOM TO WRITE PROGRAM
On Wednesday, October 24, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined Neil Giaccobi from AT&T at Brooklyn Borough Hall to award Paul Auster—winner of this year’s AT&T Fan Fave at the Brooklyn Book Festival—his $3,000 top prize, donated to the PEN American Center’s Freedom to Write Program and accepted by PEN American Center’s president, Peter Godwin, and the director of the Freedom to Write Program, Larry Siems.
Auster, whose participation in this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival coincided with the release of his latest novel, the memoir Winter Journal, finished first in fan voting; Dan Savage (donating his winnings to First Book) and Edwidge Danticat (donating her award to Three Little Flowers Center Inc.) placed second and third place, respectively.
“This is the first popularity contest I have ever won,” said Paul Auster, “but I’m glad it came with some money attached to it so I could give it to the most important literary organization in the world—PEN—the only human rights organization devoted exclusively to the defense of writers.”
“We are so grateful to the Brooklyn Book Festival and AT&T for making this possible, and to Paul both for honoring us today and for his constant support for PEN’s efforts to protect writers and defend freedom of expression around the world,” said Larry Siems, director of the PEN American Center’s Freedom to Write Program. “The Brooklyn Book Festival is a wonderful celebration of literature and the freedom to write. That spirit infuses and energizes our work throughout the year—and even more so this year, thanks to this very special recognition.”
“Park Slope’s very own Paul Auster is one of those gifted writers who captures the character and characters of Brooklyn through stories about personal lives and the search for ‘true self,’ said Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz. “I am proud to join Brooklyn Book Festival fans and AT&T in honoring this ‘literary lion’ and the PEN American Center, both of whom have made outstanding contributions to the success of the Festival and to Brooklyn’s rightful place as the epicenter of the literary universe in America.”
“AT&T congratulates Paul Auster, winner of the Brooklyn Book Festival’s AT&T Fan Fave award,” said Marissa Shorenstein, president, AT&T, New York. “There is no better way to celebrate this amazing Brooklyn festival which brought together readers—young and old—in the hub of the literary community.”
Photo by Kathryn Kirk
In photo (left to right): Peter Godwin, president, PEN American Center; Neil Giaccobi, AT&T; Larry Siems, director, PEN American Center’s Freedom to Write Program; BP Markowitz; Paul Auster