Two Indians Win PEN Literary Awards
Two Indians — Pulitzer winner Siddhartha Mukherjee and writer-journalist Manu Joseph — figure in the 2011 PEN Awards, the most comprehensive literary awards programme in the US.
While Mukherjee won the E O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award for his The Emperor of All Maladies, Joseph’s Serious Men was selected for the PEN Open Book Award for an exceptional work of literature by an author of colour published in 2010.
The Wilson Literary Science award was given for a book of literary non-fiction on the subject of the physical and biological sciences published in 2010. Instituted this year, the award carries a cash amount of USD 10,000. David Abram was the runner-up in the category for Becoming Animal.
The winners and runners-up of the 17 awards, given by the PEN American Center, will be honoured on October 12 in New York City.
“PEN’s literary awards program is at the heart of what we do. What ties all our work together – whether we are defending free expression or supporting translation or sustaining literacy – is the aim of nurturing literary culture,” PEN president Anthony Appiah said in a statement.
“By publicly honouring the writers, editors, and translators who create the works we read, we celebrate the connections between readers and writers that shape our literary community.”
Alice Quinn, PEN Awards committee chair, said, “The PEN Literary Awards convey something very specific and marvelous to the winners and finalists – the high regard of their peers and heroes.”