2011 Pen/Faulkner Fiction Award Nominees

By | on March 3, 2011 | 1 Comment

JC: Over at the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, they have released the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominees. Here they are along with the 3G1B coverage of each book.

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganJR’s Review

Egan’s narrative voice and style is so damn brilliant, and with a symphony of characters that you instantly care about, this story is an intricate tapestry of the highest order. There is this chapter that is all power point slide show, and at first seems like bullshit, but it’s not, read it carefully, there is so much beauty and sorrow in it. I love the chapter with Sasha in Italy, it’s like you’re actually there with her, (wow, this is so smarmy!). I’m gushing like a school girl with a first crush.

Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives by Brad Watson – DH reviewed three of the stories in this collection – Terrible Argument, Carl’s Outside, and Noon.

So Brad Watson sends his characters out for the evening. He flays their souls and then puts them into play on a night out with their pals. When the soul sees hell, then it’s there. We can create hell ourselves…or is it just the brutish quality of life…that it’s extremely hazardous? Brad, you’re great. Your students in Laramie are lucky. Your readers everywhere are lucky. But your characters, they are not so lucky…it being quite risky out there.

Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon – This won the National Book Award for Fiction, of course. You can read my review here. By the way, it’s available in paper next week.

Reading Lord of Misrule is like something between The Sting and The Hustler. If you made a movie our of it, you’d be pissed Paul Newman was dead. Gordon has a knack for idiosyncratic characters and steely tension in the race scenes and relationship dramas.

Model Home by Eric Puchner – No review, but Eric did stop by to write a piece for the When We Fell In Love Series.

Writers usually have one or two major gifts, but Cheever seems to have had it all: emotional depth, dazzling language, expert storytelling, a sense of high-wire daring, a mastery of tone that treats the comic and tragic as cosmic bedfellows.  His milieu of doormen and high balls and pool parties seems a bit dated now, as quaint as the name Shady Hills, but his great theme— desire subjugated by dailiness—feels timeless.

The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg – Admittedly we missed on this one, so you’ll have to go read her profile at The Millions .



One Response to “2011 Pen/Faulkner Fiction Award Nominees”

  1. March 3, 2011

    LindaSW Reply

    I am in the thick of A VISIT FROM THE GGON SQUAD and cannot stop reading. Brilliant. Peace…

Leave a Reply