Annal: 1999 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Results of the PEN/Faulkner Award in the year 1999.

Book:The Hours: A Novel

The Hours: A Novel

Michael Cunningham

A daring, deeply affecting third novel by the author of A Home at the End of the World and Flesh and Blood.

In The Hours, Michael Cunningham, widely praised as one of the most gifted writers of his generation, draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair. The narrative of Woolf’s last days before her suicide early in World War II counterpoints the fictional stories of Samuel, a famous poet whose life has been shadowed by his talented and troubled mother, and his lifelong friend Clarissa, who strives to forge a balanced and rewarding life in spite of the demands of friends, lovers, and family.

Passionate, profound, and deeply moving, this is Cunningham’s most remarkable achievement to date.

Book:Cloudsplitter

Cloudsplitter

Russell Banks

A triumph of the imagination and a masterpiece of modern storytelling, Cloudsplitter is narrated by the enigmatic Owen Brown, last surviving son of America’s most famous and still controversial political terrorist and martyr, John Brown. Deeply researched, brilliantlyplotted, and peopled with a cast of unforgettable characters both historical and wholly invented, Cloudsplitter is dazzling in its re-creation of the political and social landscape of our history during the years before the Civil War, when slavery was tearing the country apart.But within this broader scope, Russell Banks has given us a riveting, suspenseful, heartbreaking narrative filled with intimate scenes of domestic life, of violence and action in battle, of romance and familial life and death that make the reader feel in astonishing ways what it is like to be alive in that time.

Book:The Doctor Stories

The Doctor Stories

Richard Selzer

The Doctor Stories is Richard Selzer’s selection of his own short stories, culled from three decades of writing, along with two new stories and an introduction detailing his literary beginnings. Drawing from his classic books, Selzer portrays the interactions of people at moments of crisis and drama. His signature style is apparent in every sentence: humane, observant, passionately descriptive, and particular, always connecting the intimate with the largest questions of life and death.

Book:The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Against this backdrop, Orleanna…[more]

Book:Starting Out in the Evening

Starting Out in the Evening: A Novel

Brian Morton

Leonard Schiller is a writer in his seventies. All of his books are out of print; he’s left no mark in literary history; a lifetime of dedicated labor has brought him few rewards. Heather Wolfe is a graduate student in her twenties. She read Schiller’s novels when she was growing up, and they changed her life. She decides to write her master’s thesis about Schiller’s work, and she sets out to meet him.

Starting Out in the Evening is a novel about the unexpected consequences of that meeting—and the unexpected consequences of art. Heather blows into Schiller’s life like a whirlwind and overturns everything in it. After years of obscurity, he finds himself dreaming of literary immortality; after a lifetime of restraint, he finds himself infatuated with a woman “so young she seemed like an emissary from the future.” …[more]

Views: 1,374 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.037 sec