The winner of the 2011 Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction is:
The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg by Deborah Eisenberg
The honoured book, The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg, brings together four volumes of Eisenberg’s work: Transactions in a Foreign Currency, Under the 82nd Airborne, All Around Atlantis, and Twilight of the Superheroes, which was a PEN/Faulkner Finalist in 2007. Eisenberg’s stories have long been admired for their exceptional language and nuanced evocation of thought and emotion. About this collection, judge Laura Furman says, “From the first to the last of her collected stories, Deborah Eisenberg demonstrates her sharp intelligence, literary inventiveness, and her clear understanding of human interconnectedness as it exists in isolation. Eisenberg’s reader often has the feeling that her characters don’t quite understand either who they are or how they got themselves into their present fix. The struggle of her characters to create a whole life from the shards of their experience and emotions forms the moral core of Deborah Eisenberg’s work.” The recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Deborah Eisenberg has also taught at the University of Virginia since 1994.
The PEN/Faulkner Award is America’s largest peer juried prize for fiction in the United States. As winner, Eisenberg receives $15,000. Each of the four finalists—Jennifer Egan for A Visit From The Goon Squad (Knopf); Jaimy Gordon for Lord of Misrule(McPherson & Co.); Eric Puchner for Model Home (Scribner); and Brad Watson for Aliens in The Prime of Their Lives (W.W. Norton)—receives $5,000.