Home » Arts and Science NotebookSpring 2010

Lorraine López Named PEN/Faulkner Finalist

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Lorraine M. López, associate professor of English, was named a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction for her book, Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories. López’s story collection was chosen as one of five honorees from nearly 350 books nominated by their publishers.

“The PEN/Faulkner Prize is one of the most prestigious awards for fiction in America today,” says Jay Clayton, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English and chair of the English department. “Recent winners have included such wonderful writers as Philip Roth, E.L. Doctorow, Ha Jin, John Updike, and Nashville’s own Ann Patchett.”

López, the author of three additional works of fiction and winner of the International Latino Book Award, was nominated along with fellow writers Barbara Kingsolver, Lorrie Moore, Colson Whitehead and Sherman Alexie, who received the 2009 award. All five were honored during the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., in May.

Homicide Survivors Picnic is a collection of short stories with deeply complex characters at pivotal points in their lives. In each of the volume’s 10 stories, López has crafted characters who are survivors, people who face overwhelming disappointment yet persevere and even reach out to help others.

López joins a cadre of past PEN/Faulkner honorees that reads like the who’s who of great American literature, including David Guterson, Bernard Malamud, Alice McDermott, Joyce Carol Oates, E. Annie Proulx, Isaac Bashevis Singer and John Kennedy Toole.

photo credit: John Russell

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