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2010 Award for Fiction Ceremony


Sherman Alexie

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is the nation's largest peer-juried literary prize and recognizes the best new works of American fiction. The 2010 prize winner, Sherman Alexie, was honored for War Dances, a tragicomic collection of short stories on the themes of love, betrayal, family, race, and class.


"War Dances delivers a surprise punch that inevitably arrives at its target: the human heart – and always in a heady space, where past and future-present not so much converge as commingle," said judge Al Young.


Other honorees included:

  • Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna, whose half Mexican, half American, narrator is the novel's center as well as its missing gap. A citation delivered by Rilla Askew praised the novel as "a narrative as large as history, as finely detailed as the most exquisite miniature."
  • Lorraine M. Lopez for Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories, in which "the mundane details of middle-class daily life are transformed into unforgettable images" according to judge Kyoko Mori.
  • Lorrie Moore for A Gate at the Stairs, the coming-of-age story of a young Midwestern college student told in prose that Kyoyo Mori lauded as"clear-eyed, ironic, AND lyrical." 
  • Colson Whitehead for Sag Harbor, a book that Al Young noted "reads like the novelization of a movie many will have already seen or played or starred in. The subtle plot of this lofty book is time-fed."

Gwen Ifill served as master of ceremonies.

Gwen Ifill, PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony

Barbara Kingsolver

Critical Acclaim

Citation for The Lacuna

Citation for Homicide Survivors Picnic...

Citation for A Gate at the Stairs

Citation for Sag Harbor

Citation for War Dances


Al Young's Citation on War Dances

Photo Gallery

2010 Award for Fiction

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