This morning, the PEN/American Center released the shortlist for their annual awards, which are some of the most lucrative (and therefore most coveted!) in the United States. The 18 awards cover categories from debut fiction to science writing to essays, and this year the various judging panels included the likes of Cheryl Strayed, Jonathan Dee, Terry McMillan, Ariel Levy, E.L. Doctorow and Zadie Smith.
Here are the shortlists for some of the bigger prizes; for the full list of finalists visit PEN's site. Which books are you rooting for?
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000 to the author of a debut work of fiction)
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Brief Encounters With the Enemy by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
Everybody’s Irish by Ian Stansel
Godforsaken Idaho by Shawn Vestal
The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000 award)
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5000 award)
Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson
Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore by Linda Leavell
Margaret Fuller by Megan Marshall
American Mirror by Deborah Solomon
A Life of Barbara Stanwyck (Volume 1) by Victoria Wilson.