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Saturday, April 30, 2016

2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Winner

Earlier this month, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winner was announced. The prize is awarded annually to the authors of the year's best works of fiction by living American citizens. The winner receives US $15,000 and each of four runners-up receives US $5000.

The winner is Delicious Foods by James Hannaham
In Delicious Foods, James Hannaham tells the story of three characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy them. Darlene, once an exemplary wife and a loving mother to her young son Eddie, finds herself devastated by the unforeseen death of her husband. Unable to cope with her grief, she turns to drugs, and quickly forms an addiction. One day she disappears without a trace. Unbeknownst to eleven-year-old Eddie, now left behind in a panic-stricken search for her, Darlene has been lured away with false promises of a good job and a rosy life. A shady company named Delicious Foods shuttles her to a remote farm, where she is held captive, performing hard labour in the fields to pay off the supposed debt for her food, lodging, and the constant stream of drugs the farm provides to her and the other unfortunates imprisoned there (https://www.amazon.ca/Delicious-Foods-Novel-James-Hannaham/dp/0316284947/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461601867&sr=1-1&keywords=delicious+foods).

The other finalists were
Mr. and Mrs. Doctor by Julie Iromuanya
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Mendocino Fire by Elizabeth Tallent
The Water Museum by Luis Alberto Urrea