LETTERS AND DRAMA PRIZES
For distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” by Jennifer Egan (Alfred A. Knopf), an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: “The Privileges,” by Jonathan Dee (Random House), a contemporary, wide ranging tale about an elite Manhattan family, moral bankruptcy and the long reach of wealth, and “The Surrendered,” by Chang-Rae Lee (Riverhead Books), a haunting and often heartbreaking epic whose characters explore the deep reverberations of love, devotion and war.
For a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to “The Best of It: New and Selected Poems,” by Kay Ryan (Grove Press), a body of work spanning 45 years, witty, rebellious and yet tender, a treasure trove of an iconoclastic and joyful mind.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: “The Common Man,” by Maurice Manning (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a rich, often poignant collection of poems rooted in a rural Kentucky experiencing change in its culture and landscape, and “Break the Glass,” by Jean Valentine (Copper Canyon Press), a collection of imaginative poems in which small details can accrue great power and a reader is never sure where any poem might lead.