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
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
2010 Award for Fiction