WMU Home > WMU News

WMU News

WMU News on Twitter

Gordon is finalist for second major fiction award

March 3, 2011

Share |

KALAMAZOO--An award-winning book by Western Michigan University's Jaimy Gordon has just been named a finalist for the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the largest peer-juried fiction prize in the nation.

Photo of Western Michigan University's Jaimy Gordon and Lord of Misrule.Gordon's "Lord of Misrule," which captured the National Book Award for fiction last fall, is among five finalists for the award. The winner will be announced March 15, and all five finalists will be honored Saturday, May 7, at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

The winner of the 31st annual PEN/Faulkner Award will receive $15,000. The other four finalists will each receive $5,000.

The judges--Laura Furman, William Kittredge and Helena Maria Viramontes--considered approximately 320 novels and short story collections published in 2010 by American authors. Submissions came from more than 125 publishing houses.

Gordon's novel, her fourth, was published in November by McPherson & Co. Set in the world of West Virginia horse racing in the early 1970s, the book was praised in the finalist announcement as a "novel of dazzling language."

"Though we know trouble and misery will befall the novel's characters, tragedies are balanced by keen, hard-edged observation and linguistic verve," the announcement said.

The other four finalists for the award are:

  • "A Visit from the Goon Squad," a novel by Jennifer Egan
  • "The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg"
  • "Model Home," Eric Puchner's debut novel
  • "Aliens in the Prime of Their LIves," a collection of short stories by Brad Watson

Gordon, a WMU professor of English is a faculty member in the University's celebrated creative writing program. She has taught at WMU since 1981.

A Baltimore native, Gordon earned degrees from Antioch College and Brown University. She has published three other novels--"Bogeywoman," "Shamp of the City-Solo" and "She Drove Without Stopping." The latter, often described as a woman's road novel, was an American Library Association Notable Book for 1990; in 1991, Gordon won an Academy-Institute Award for her fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. "Bogeywoman" made the Los Angeles Times list of the Best Fiction of 2000.

For more about the PEN/Faulkner award nominees and event, visit the PEN/Faulkner Foundation online.

Share |

Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400