NEW YORK (AP) – Fiction by Yiyun Li and essays by Leslie Jamison and Eve Babitz are among the finalists for honors presented by PEN America, the literary and human rights organization.
On Tuesday, PEN announced nominees in categories ranging from science and poetry to translation and debut novel. Winners will be announced March 2, at a ceremony hosted by Seth Meyers. Judges for PEN include such celebrated writers as Claudia Rankine, David W. Blight and William T. Vollmann.
Ilya Kaminsky’s â€œDeaf Republic” and Li’s â€œWhere Reasons End” are nominees for the most lucrative honor, the $75,000 Jean Stein Prize for a book of any genre that â€œhas broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.” Other finalists are Anne Boyer’s â€œThe Undying,” Rion Amilcar Scott’s â€œThe World Doesnâ€™t Require You” and Chris Ware’s â€œRusty Brown.”
Two fiction prizes are each worth $25,000.
Finalists for the PEN/Hemingway Award for best debut novel are Madeline Ffitch’s â€œStay and Fight,” Jamil Jan Kochai’s â€œ99 Nights in Logar,” Tomas Moniz’s â€œBig Familia,” Regina Porter’s â€œThe Travelers” and Ruchika Tomar’s â€œA Prayer for Travelers.” For the PEN/Robert W. Bingham award, for best debut short story collection, the nominees are AyÅŸe Papatya Bucak’s â€œThe Trojan War Museum,” Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s â€œSabrina & Corina,” Mimi Lok’s â€œLast of Her Name,” Xuan Juliana Wang’s â€œHome Remedies” and Bryan Washington’s â€œLot.”
Babitz, the Hollywood chronicler who has had a resurgence of interest in recent years, is a nominee for a $10,000 prize for â€œthe art of the essay.” She was cited for â€œI Used to Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz.” The other finalists are Jamison’s â€œMake It Scream, Make It Burn,” Deborah Fleming’s â€œResurrection of the Wild” and a pair of books by New Yorker staff writers – Emily Nussbaum’s â€œI Like To Watch” and Jia Tolentino’s â€œTrick Mirror.”