Four Women With Academic Affiliations Nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

The five finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award in fiction have been announced by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in Washington, D.C. The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is the United States’ largest peer-juried prize in the field. Established in 1980, the award honors the best works of fiction published by an American citizen in a calendar year. The award will be presented at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington on May 5.

Four of five finalists are women with current affiliations at American universities.

Samantha Hunt teaches at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She was nominated for The Dark Dark: Stories (FSG Originals, 2017). She holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. An earlier novel The Invention of Everything Else (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008) was a finalist for the Orange Prize and winner of the Bard Fiction Prize.

Achy Obejas teaches creative writing at Mills College in Oakland, California. She was nominated for The Tower of Antilles (Akashic Books, 2017), a collection of stories on how history and fate intrude on ordinary lives. A native of Cuba, she attended Indiana University and earned a master of fine arts degree in creative writing at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina.

Joan Silber is the author of eight books of fiction. She was nominated for the novel Improvement (Counterpoint, 2017). Silber teaches at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, and in the master of fine arts degree program at Warren Wilson College. Silber is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and holds a master of fine arts degree from new York University.

Jesmyn Ward is an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University in New Orleans. She was nominated for the novel  Sing, Unburied Sing (Scribner, 2017), which has already won the National Book Award. In 2011, Ward won the National Book Award for her novel Salvage the Bones. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Michigan.

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