Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Orlando gets love, part 3: Jamie Poissant makes longlist for 2015 PEN Literary Award

Posted By on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 5:51 PM

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This one is Orlando giving love as much as getting it – you're welcome, America, for the awesome fiction coming out of this city. (But also thanks for noticing!) When our own David James Poissant pushed his first book out into the world last year, the New York Times said: "A number of recent scientific studies have argued that stories teach us to impose meaningful order on the random events of life. But why read studies when you could learn the same thing from this wise debut collection? Poissant’s characters are often a mess — belligerent, impulsive, smart in all the wrong ways — but he manages their lives with precision, intelligence and clarity." The Los Angeles Review of Books chimed in: "In its melancholic way, The Heaven of Animals might remind readers of two stylistically disparate story collections — Richard Ford’s A Multitude of Sins and Amy Hemple’s The Dog of the Marriage — which are surely not bad company to keep."

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Today Poissant was named to the longlist for the 2015 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction: "To an author whose debut work – a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2014 – represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise." And it's not just bragging rights and literary glory, either: There's a $25,000 award for this prize.

Finalists will be announced April 15. The winners for all 2015 awards will be announced May 13 and honored at PEN's Literary Awards Ceremony June 8 in New York.

Looking for something to read? The full list of nominees for the 2015 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction follows:

The UnAmericans, Molly Antopol
(W. W. Norton & Company)

Ruby, Cynthia Bond
(Hogarth)

Black Moon, Kenneth Calhoun
(Hogarth)

Redeployment, Phil Klay
(Penguin Press)

Ride Around Shining, Chris Leslie-Hynan
(Harper)

The Dog, Jack Livings
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Wives of Los Alamos, TaraShea Nesbit
(Bloomsbury)

The Heaven of Animals, David James Poissant
(Simon & Schuster)

Love Me Back, Merritt Tierce
(Doubleday)

Time of the Locust, Morowa Yejidé
(Atria Books)

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