Free Samples of the 2014 PEN Literary Award Nominees

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

penamericaPEN has released the shortlists for the 2014 PEN Literary Awards, revealing the nominees for ten different prizes this year.

Below, we’ve collected free samples of all the nominated books, a great way to explore the best books of the past year.

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000): “To an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2013—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.”

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth), Anthony Marra

Brief Encounters With the Enemy (The Dial Press), Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

Everybody’s Irish (FiveChapters Books), Ian Stansel

Godforsaken Idaho (Little A/New Harvest), Shawn Vestal

The People in the Trees (Doubleday), Hanya Yanagihara

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): “For a book of essays published in 2013 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem the essay form imparts to literature.”

Forty-One False Starts (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Janet Malcolm

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls (Little, Brown and Company), David Sedaris

The Faraway Nearby (Viking Adult), Rebecca Solnit

Critical Mass (Doubleday), James Wolcott

PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000): “For a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences published in 2013.”

The End of Night (Little, Brown and Company), Paul Bogard

Five Days at Memorial (Crown), Sheri Fink

High Price (Harper), Carl Hart

Surfaces and Essences (Basic Books), Douglas Hofstadter & Emmanuel Sander

Wild Ones (Penguin Press), Jon Mooallem

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): “For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2013.”

Duppy Conqueror (Copper Canyon Press), Kwame Dawes

Leaving Tulsa (University of Arizona Press), Jennifer Elise Foerster

domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press), Ruth Ellen Kocher

Cowboys and East Indians (FiveChapters Books), Nina McConigley

Ghana Must Go (Penguin Press), Taiye Selasi

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): “For a distinguished biography published in 2013.”

Lawrence in Arabia (Doubleday), Scott Anderson

Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Linda Leavell

Margaret Fuller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Megan Marshall

American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Deborah Solomon

A Life of Barbara Stanwyck (Simon & Schuster), Victoria Wilson

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): “To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2013.”

Collision Low Crossers (Little, Brown and Company), Nicholas Dawidoff

The Sports Gene (Current), David Epstein

League of Denial (Crown Archetype), Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru

The Emerald Mile (Scribner), Kevin Fedarko

Their Life’s Work (Simon & Schuster), Gary M. Pomerantz

PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ($5,000): “To a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book published in 2013.”

Train (Orchard Books), Elisha Cooper

Tea Party Rules (Viking), Ame Dyckman

The King of Little Things (Peachtree Publishers), Bil Lepp

Crabtree (McSweeney’s McMullens), Jon & Tucker Nichols

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): “For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2013.”

Even Now: Poems by Hugo Claus (Archipelago), David Colmer

Diaries of Exile by Yannis Ritsos (Archipelago), Karen Emmerich & Edmund Keeley

Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson by Yosa Buson (Copper Canyon Press), Takako Lento & W.S. Merwin

Paul Klee’s Boat by Anzhelina Polonskaya (Zephyr Press), Andrew Wachtel

Cut These Words Into My Stone: Ancient Greek Epitaphs (Johns Hopkins University Press), Michael Wolfe

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): “For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2013.”

An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman (New York Review Books), Elizabeth & Robert Chandler

Transit by Anna Seghers (New York Review Books), Margot Bettauer Dembo

The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa (Yale University Press), Jeffrey Gray

The Emperor’s Tomb by Joseph Roth (New Directions), Michael Hofmann

Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (New York Review Books), Joanne Turnbull & Nikolai Formozov