Ten writers will be honored at PEN Center USA West's annual awards banquet tonight in the Crystal Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Novelist Herbert Gold, author of works including "Dreaming," "Fathers and Salt" and "A Girl of Forty" will receive the organization's award for a distinguished body of work. The president's award will go to George Kirgo, president of the Writers Guild. Other winners are Lawrence Thornton in fiction for "Imagining Argentina;" Carrie Fisher for a first novel, "Postcards From the Edge;" Neal Jimenez for the best first screenplay, "The River's Edge;"
The winners for young adult books are Adrienne Jones for "Street Family" and Sonia Levitin for "The Return." In journalism the winner is Barry Siegel of the Los Angeles Times for a series of articles on gene therapy. Robert Mezey will receive the poetry award for "Evening Wind" and in nonfiction the winner is Brendan Phibbs for "The Other Side of Time." All will accept their awards in person except for Carrie Fisher who will be represented by her mother, Debbie Reynolds.
PEN is an international organization that works to foster understanding among writers and support freedom of expression.