Return to The Lists

PEN/Faulkner Award Winners and Nominees: 1981 – Present

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is a national prize which honors the best published works of fiction by American citizens in a calendar year. Three judges, chosen annually by the directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, select five books from among the more than 300 works submitted, making this the largest peer-juried award in the country. The winning writer and four finalists are honored at a ceremony held in Washington at the Folger Shakespeare Library in May. Read more about this award by visiting the official website.

Books I have read are highlighted in blue; follow the links to my reviews.


Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – WINNER

Threats by Amelia Gray
Kind One by Laird Hunt
Hold It ‘Til It Hurts by T. Geronimo Johnson,
Watergate by Thomas Mallon


The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka – WINNER – read my review
Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks
The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories , by Don DeLillo
The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai – read my review
We Others: New and Selected Stories by Steven Millhauser 


The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, by Deborah Eisenberg – WINNER
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
Lord of Misrule, by Jaimy Gordon
Model Home, by Eric Puchner
Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives, by Brad Watson


War Dances, by Sherman Alexie – WINNER
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories, by Lorraine M. Lopez
A Gate at the Stairs, by Lorrie Moore
Sag Harbor, by Colson Whitehead


Netherland, by Joseph O’Neill – WINNER – read my review
Ms. Hempel Chronicles, by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
A Person of Interest, by Susan Choi
Lush Life, by Richard Price
Serena, by Ron Rash


The Great Man, by Kate Christensen – WINNER
The Maytrees, by Annie Dillard
The Indian Clerk, by David Leavitt
The Gateway: Stories, by T.M. McNally
Chemistry and Other Stories, by Ron Rash


Everyman, by Philip Roth – WINNER
The Dead Fish Museum, by Charles D’Ambrosio
Twilight of the Superheroes, by Deborah Eisenberg
The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, by Amy Hempel
All Aunt Hager’s Children, by Edward P. Jones


The March, by E.L. Doctorow – WINNEr
A Sudden Country, by Karen Fisher
I Got Somebody in Staunton, by Willaim Henry Lewis
Last Night, by James Salter
The Chrysanthemum, by Bruce Wagner


War Trash, by Ha Jin – WINNER
The Green Lantern, by Jerome Charyn
The Dew Breaker, by Edwidge Danticat
Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson (no review)
Prisoners of War, by Steve Yarbrough


The Early Stories 1953-1975, by John Updike – WINNER
Elroy Nights, by Frederick Barthemie
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, by ZZ Packer
A Distant Shore, by Caryl Phillips
Old School, by Tobias Wolff


The Caprices, by Sabina Murray – WINNER
The City of Your Final Destination, by Peter Cameron
Roscoe, by William Kennedy
The Ecstatic, by Victor LaValle
Little Casino, by Gilbert Sorrentino


Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett – WINNER
Sister Noon, by Karen Joy Fowler
The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen
The Hunters, by Claire Messud
The Death of Vishnu, by Manil Suri


The Human Stain, by Philip Roth – WINNER
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
Harry Gold, by Millicent Dillon
The Name of the World, by Denis Johnson
Off Keck Road, by Mona Simpson


Waiting, by Ha Jin – WINNER
The Night Inspector, by Frederick Busch
PU-239, by Ken Kalfus
Amy and Isabelle, by Elizabeth Strout
Siam, by Lily Tuck


The Hours, by Michael Cunningham – WINNER (no review)
Cloudsplitter, by Russell Banks
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (read my review)
Starting Out in the Evening, by Brian Morton
The Doctor Stories, by Richard Seltzer


The Bear Comes Home, by Rafi Zabor – WINNER
The Hundred Brothers, by Donald Antrim
The Mercy Seat, by Rilla Askew
Because They Wanted To, by Mary Galtskill
The Ordinary Seaman, by Francisco Goldman


Women in their Beds, by Gina Berriault – WINNER
St. Burl’s Obituary, by Daniel Akst
The Book of Mercy, by Kathleen Cambor
Atticus, by Ron Hansen
The Autobiography of My Mother, by Jamaica Kincaid


Independence Day, by Richard Ford
All Souls’ Rising, by Madison Smart Bell
The Tunnel, by William Gass
When the World Was Steady, by Claire Messud
The Good Negress, by J. Verdelle


Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Gutterson – WINNER (no review)
The Children in the Woods, by Frederick Busch
Stones From the River, by Ursula Hegi
What I Lived For, by Joyce Carol Oates
Various Antidotes, by Joanna Scott


Operation Shylock, by Philip Roth – WINNER
Van Gogh’s Room at Aries, by Stanley Elkin
The Magic of Blood, by Dagoberto Gilb
Bone, by Fae Myenne Ng
Not Where I Started From, by Kate Wheeler


Postcards, by E. Annie Proulx – WINNER
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, by Robert Olen Butler
The Long Night of White Chickens, by Francisco Goldman
Natural History, by Maureen Howard
Talking to the Dead, by Sylvia Watanabe


Mao II, by Don DeLilo – WINNER
Frog, by Stephen Dixon
Extraordinary People, by Paul Gervais
White People, by Allan Gurganus
The Almanac Branch, by Bradord Morrow


Philadelphia Fire, by John Edgar Wideman – WINNER
The Music of Chance, by Paul Auster
A Gentleman’s Guide to the Frontier, by Joanne Meschery
The Barnum Museum, by Steven Millhauser
Arrogance, by Joanna Scott


Billy Bathgate, by E.L. Doctorow – WINNER
Affliction, by Russell Banks
The Jump-Off Creek, by Molly Gloss
On the Island, by Josephine Jacobsen
Leaving Brooklyn, by Lynne Sharon Schwartz


Dusk, by James Salter – WINNER
Vanished, by Mary McGarry Morris
The Corner of Rife and Pacific, by Thomas Savage
The Death of Methuselah, by Isaac Bashevix Singer


World’s End, by T. C. Boyle – WINNER
Spirits, by Richard Bausch
That Night, by Alice McDermott
The Messiah of Stockholm, by Cynthia Ozick
Imagining Argentina, by Lawrence Thornton


Soldiers in Hiding, by Richard Wiley – WINNER
The Sportswriter, by Richard Ford
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, by Charles Johnson
Collaborators, by Janet Kauffman
Expensive Habits, by Maureen Howard


The Old Forest, by Peter Taylor – WINNER
Carpenter’s Gothic, by William Gaddis
Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry (no review)
The Tree of Life, by Hugh Nissenson
The Christmas Wife, by Helen Norris
Later the Same Day, by Grace Paley


The Barracks Thief, by Tobias Wolff – WINNER
Stones for Ibarra, by Harriet Doerr
The Dixie Association, by Donald Hays
Family Dancing, by David Leavitt
On Glory’s Courses, by James Purdy


Sent for You Yesterday, by John Edgar Wideman – WINNER
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, by Ron Hansen
Ironweed, by William Kennedy
At the Bottom of the River, by Jamaica Kincaid
The Stories, by Bernard Malamud
The Cannibal Galaxy, by Cynthia Ozick


Seaview, by Toby Olson – WINNER
Grace Abounding, by Maureen Howard
Shiloh and Other Stories, by Bobbie Ann Mason
The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H., by George Steiner
Birthplace, by William S. Wilson


The Chaneysville Incident, by David Bradley – WINNER
Sixty Stories, by Donald Bartheime
Take Me Back, by Richard Bausch
Ellis Island and Other Stories, by Mark Helprin
Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson
A Flag for Sunrise, by Robert Stone


How German Is It? by Wlater Abish – WINNER
The Transit of Venus, by Shirley Hazzard
The Second Coming, by Walker Percy
Aberration of Starlight, by Gilbert Sorrentino
A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Tooler

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial