Yiyun Li and Leslie Jamison among PEN award nominees

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NEW YORK (AP) — Fiction by Yiyun Li and essays by Leslie Jamison and Eve Babitz are among the finalists for honors presented by PEN America, the literary and human rights organization.

On Tuesday, PEN announced nominees in categories ranging from science and poetry to translation and debut novel. Winners will be announced March 2, at a ceremony hosted by Seth Meyers. Judges for PEN include such celebrated writers as Camille Rankine, David W. Blight and William T. Vollmann.

Ilya Kaminsky’s “Deaf Republic” and Li’s “Where Reasons End” are nominees for the most lucrative honor, the $75,000 Jean Stein Prize for a book of any genre that “has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.” Other finalists are Anne Boyer’s “The Undying,” Rion Amilcar Scott’s “The World Doesn’t Require You” and Chris Ware’s “Rusty Brown.”

Two fiction prizes are each worth $25,000.

Finalists for the PEN/Hemingway Award for best debut novel are Madeline Ffitch’s “Stay and Fight,” Jamil Jan Kochai’s “99 Nights in Logar,” Tomas Moniz’s “Big Familia,” Regina Porter’s “The Travelers” and Ruchika Tomar’s “A Prayer for Travelers.” For the PEN/Robert W. Bingham award, for best debut short story collection, the nominees are Ayşe Papatya Bucak’s “The Trojan War Museum,” Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s “Sabrina & Corina,” Mimi Lok’s “Last of Her Name,” Xuan Juliana Wang’s “Home Remedies” and Bryan Washington’s “Lot.”

Babitz, the Hollywood chronicler who has had a resurgence of interest in recent years, is a nominee for a $10,000 prize for “the art of the essay.” She was cited for “I Used to Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz.” The other finalists are Jamison’s “Make It Scream, Make It Burn,” Deborah Fleming’s “Resurrection of the Wild” and a pair of books by New Yorker staff writers — Emily Nussbaum’s “I Like To Watch” and Jia Tolentino’s “Trick Mirror.”

This story has been corrected to show that one of the judge’s names is Camille Rankine, not Claudia Rankine.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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