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Deborah Eisenberg wins the 2011 PEN/Faulkner award

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Deborah Eisenberg’s ‘The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg’ was awarded the PEN/Faulkner award for fiction, it was announced Tuesday.

In the L.A. Times review of the book, Marisa Silver wrote, ‘Her work is a marvel of compression, in which characters speak with the kind of crackling dialogue that tunes our ear to the way language exposes and obscures our hearts.’

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Eisenberg, whose longtime companion is the actor and writer Wallace Shawn, has taught at the University of Virginia in the fall term since 1994. She was named a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellow in 2009.

She will receive $15,000 and recognition at a ceremony in Washington on May 7. Tickets for the event are $100.

The four other finalists will each receive $5,000. Those finalists include Jennifer Egan, who won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction last week.

Three judges, all authors themselves, considered more than 300 books published in 2010 for the award. The books were submitted by 125 publishing houses.

The PEN/Faulkner Award was founded in 1980 by Mary Lee Settle, a National Book Award-winning writer who felt the literary establishment was unreceptive to Southern writers and that it valued ‘personality over achievement.’

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2011 PEN/Faulkner finalists announced Book review: ‘The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg’

-- Carolyn Kellogg


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