The five finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award in fiction have been announced by the Penn/Faulkner Foundation in Washington, D.C. The PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction is the United States’ largest peer-juried prize in the field. Established in 1980, the award honors the best works of fiction published by an American citizen in a calendar year. The award will be presented at the Folger Theatre in Washington on May 14.
Two of five finalists are African Americans with current affiliations at American universities.
James Hannaham is an associate professor of humanities and media studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. A native of the Bronx, New York, Hannaham was nominated for his book Delicious Foods (Little Brown & Co., 2015). The novel tells the story of a drug-addicted mother who is held in virtual slavery on a produce farm in Louisiana and her young son’s efforts to gain her freedom. A former staff writer for Salon.com, Hannaham’s first book was God Says No (McSweeny’s Books, 2009), a novel about a young Christian Black man’s inner struggle with accepting homosexuality. Hannaham holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.
Julie Iromuanya is an assistant professor of English and Africana literature at Arizona State University. She also teaches in the university’s master of fine arts degree program in creative writing. Born and raised in the American Midwest, she is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. Dr. Iromuanya is a graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Dr. Iromuanya is being honored for her book Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press, 2015), a story of a Nigerian immigrant to the United States who fools his parents in Africa that he has become a doctor.