Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tale of Cricket in New York Wins PEN/Faulkner

Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland has won the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction worth $15,000.

The novel was overlooked for other major prizesin the US including the National Book Awards, and didn't make the shortlist of the Booker prize. It was though listed by The New York Times as one of the 10 best books of 2008 and is described thus on the paper's website :

O’Neill’s seductive ode to New York — a city that even in bad times stubbornly clings to its belief “in its salvific worth” — is narrated by a Dutch financier whose privileged Manhattan existence is upended by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. When his wife departs for London with their small son, he stays behind, finding camaraderie in the unexpectedly buoyant world of immigrant cricket players, most of them West Indians and South Asians, including an entrepreneur with Gatsby-size aspirations.
You can read the first chapter of the novel here and read Ed Cesar's interview with the author last year, at The Times.

The runners up, who each receive $5,000 each are :
  • Sarah Shun-lien Bynum - Ms. Hempel Chronicles
  • Susan Choi - A Person of Interest
  • Richard Price - Lush Life
  • Ron Rash - Serena

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