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In December I told you about the longlist of the PEN America Literary Awards 2021. As promised, they have now released their finalists.

The virtual literary prizes will be awarded on April 8, 2021.

This $ 75,000 award is given to “a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact, that has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of form and having strong potential for lasting influence signaled. “This year’s judges were Vievee Francis, Fred Moten and Tommy Orange.

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That year, that $ 10,000 award was presented by Toi Derricotte, Brandon Hobson, Katie Kitamura, Jamil Jan Kochai, Akil Kumarasamy, and Solmaz Sharif.

This $ 25,000 award goes to an author whose first collection of short stories represents outstanding literary achievement and holds great promise for future work. This year’s judges were Ben Marcus, Elizabeth McCracken and Ingrid Rojas Contreras.

The US $ 10,000 award goes to “a debut novel of exceptional literary value by an American author.” The judges for the 2021 Awards were Ramona Ausubel, Jack Livings and Stuart Nadler.

This US $ 5,000 award goes to “a poet whose outstanding collection of poetry represents a remarkable and accomplished literary presence,” and was judged by Sherwin Bitsui, Cynthia Cruz, Terrance Hayes, Claudia Keelan and Bao Phi.

The winner of this award “for a book-length translation of poetry from any language into English” will receive $ 3,000. The judges are Daniel Borzutsky, Marissa Davis and Meg Matich.

  • Lean Against This Late Hour by Garous Abdolmalekian (Penguin Books) Translated from Persian by Ahmad Nadalizadeh and Idra Novey
  • Raised by Wolves: Poems and Conversations by Amang (Phoneme Media) Translated from Chinese by Steve Bradbury
  • Sensory power by Helena Boberg (Black Ocean) Translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson
  • Katabasis by Lucía Estrada (Eulalia Books) Translated from Spanish by Olivia Lott
  • A new orthography by Serhiy Zhadan (Lost Horse Press) Translated from the Ukrainian by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

US $ 3,000 goes to the winner of the best “book-length translation of prose from any language into English”. The judges are Jacqui Cornetta, Somrita Urni Ganguly, Ana L. Méndez-Oliver, Amanda Sarasien, Niloufar Talebi and Sevinç Türkkan.

  • Our Wealth by Kaouther Adimi (New Directions Publishing) Translated from French by Chris Andrews
  • The hair: a novel by Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida (Tin House) Translated from the Portuguese by Eric MB Becker
  • Ornamental by Juan Cárdenas (Coffee House Press) Translated from Spanish by Lizzie Davis
  • Girls Lost by Jessica Schiefauer (Deep Parchament) Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel
  • A Land To Die: A Novel by Abdellah Taïa (Seven Stories Press) Translated from French by Emma Ramadan

US $ 15,000 goes to “an experienced writer whose collection of essays is an extension of his body of work and preserves the outstanding art form of the essay”. The judges in 2021 are Sandra Cisneros, John D’Agata and Adam Gopnik.

This US $ 10,000 award is awarded “for work that demonstrates literary excellence in the physical or biological sciences and communicates complex scientific concepts to a lay audience.” The judges are Nassir Ghaemi, Christine Kenneally, Erin Macdonald and Banu Subramaniam.

The winner of a “Biography of Outstanding Literary, Narrative, and Artistic Value, Based on Careful Research” will receive $ 5,000. The judges are Nicholas Buccola, Karl Jacoby, Nell Painter and Anna Whitelock.

Roxane Gay, Thomas Page McBee, Dunya Mikhail, Eric Schlosser, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and Laura Wides-Muñoz evaluate this award for an outstanding general non-fiction book of remarkable literary value and critical perspective that illuminates important contemporary issues. The price is $ 10,000.

Disclosure: Book Riot’s executive editor is a member of the PEN America Literary Awards Committee