PEN America to Honor Toni Morrison

By Dianna Dilworth 

PEN America has revealed the winners for its 2016 PEN Literary Awards.

Author Toni Morrison will be awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. She was selected by a panel of judges which included the previous recipient Louise Erdrich.

“Toni Morrison not only opened doors to others when she began to publish, she has also stayed grounded in the issues of her time,” stated Erdrich on behalf of the judging panel. “At every turn, she has commented upon and enlarged the conversation about what it is to be black, female, human, universal. Her brilliant and bracing fiction continues to address what is crucial, timely and timeless.”

Scott Ellsworth will receive the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing for The Secret Game. Nancy Princenthal has been chosen for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for her biography Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art. Lynn Nottage, the winner of the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for an American Playwright in Mid-Career, has earned the title Master Dramatist this year. Ed Roberson will also be given a lifetime achievement award for poetry.