Deborah Eisenberg Wins PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Short story writer Deborah Eisenberg is this year's winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. She won the prize—which honors the "best published works of fiction by American citizens"—for The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg. Past recipients of the award include Joseph O'Neill (Netherland), Michael Cunningham (The Hours), and Tobias Wolff (The Barracks Thief).

In a press release announcing Eisenberg as the 2011 winner, Judge Laura Furman said,

Deborah Eisenberg demonstrates her sharp intelligence, literary inventiveness, and her clear understanding of human interconnectedness as it exists in isolation. Eisenberg's reader often has the feeling that her characters don't quite understand either who they are or how they got themselves into their present fix. The struggle of her characters to create a whole life from the shards of their experience and emotions forms the moral core of Deborah Eisenberg's work."

Eisenberg will receive $15,000 with her award, while runners-up Jennifer Egan, Jaimy Gordon, Eric Puchner, and Brad Watson will receive $5,000.

Read The Atlantic's review of The Collected Works of Deborah Eisenberg and an interview with Eisenberg from the Culture channel.

Read the full story at the PEN/Faulkner Foundation's website.

Presented by

Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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