Rebecca Donner and Julia Sanches Win at PEN America Literary Awards 2022

BY William Hutton, March 3, 2022

PEN America has announced the winners of the 2022 Literary Awards. Rebecca Donner ’01 and Adjunct Assistant Professor Julia Sanches were both honored at the Literary Awards Ceremony held in New York City's Town Hall on Monday night. 

 

Donner has won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography with her exceptional memoir, All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler (Little Brown and Company, 2021). She will receive a cash prize of $5,000. 

 

Sanches’s translation of Mariana Oliver’s Migratory Birds (Transit Books, 2021) has won the PEN Translation Prize. Sanches will receive a $3,000 cash prize. 

 

Congratulations to the winners!

 

PEN America has named its finalists for the 2022 Literary Awards, and several Columbia alumni and faculty members are on the list. 

 

Adjunct Assistant Professor Katrine Øgaard Jensen’s translation from the Danish of Outgoing Vessel by Ursula Andkjær Olsen (Action books, 2021) has been shortlisted for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. The award comes with a prize of $3,000 and is judged by Caro Carter, Michael Favala Goldman, and Parisa Saranj.

 

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler (Little Brown and Company, 2021), by alumna Rebecca Donner '01 is in final contention for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. Given to a biography of exceptional literary, narrative, and artistic merit, the award comes with a $5,000 prize, and is judged by Luke Dittrich, Paul Golob, and Imani Perry.

 

Adjunct Assistant Professor Julia Sanches’s translation from the Spanish of Mariana Oliver’s Migratory Birds (Transit Books, 2021) is in final running for the PEN Translation Prize. The award comes with a $3,000 cash prize and is judged by Almiro Andrade, Mayada Ibrahim, Barbara Ofosu-Somuah, and Sharon E. Rhodes.  

 

Winners will be announced at the Literary Awards Ceremony on February 28, 2022, at 8pm at The Town Hall in New York City. 

 

Original article: 12/20/21

Columbia Faculty Longlisted for the 2022 PEN America Literary Awards

 

Assistant Professor Rivka Galchen ’06, Adjunct Assistant Professor Jeremy Tiang, and Adjunct Assistant Professor Katrine Øgaard Jensen ’17 have been longlisted for the 2022 PEN America Literary Awards.

 

Galchen’s new novel, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is A Witch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021), is up for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award. The award goes to a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact, and which has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence. The honoree receives a cash prize of $75,000. This year’s judges include: Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Angie Cruz, Maurice Manning and Steph Opitz.

 

Provocative and entertaining, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is A Witch draws on real historical documents to illuminate a society, and a family, undone by superstition, the state, and the mortal convulsions of history. Earlier this year, Rivka was featured in This Is Who We Are, a series featuring Columbia School of the Arts professors, covering careers, pedagogy, and art-making during a pandemic. In her interview, Rivka discussed her new novel and writing practice with Writing Fellow Amanda Breen.

 

Rivka Galchen is an award winning fiction writer and journalist, whose work appears often in The New YorkerHarper’sThe London Review of Books and The New York Times. She is the author of three books: Atmospheric Disturbances (Novel, FSG, 2008), American Innovations (Short Stories, FSG, 2014) and Little Labors (Essays, New Directions, 2016). She has received numerous prizes and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Fellowship, The Berlin Prize and The William J. Saroyan International Prize in Fiction. In 2010, she was named to The New Yorker’s list of 20 Writers Under 40. Galchen also holds an MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

 

Tiang’s translation of Lo Yi-Chin’s novel, Faraway (Columbia University Press, 2021), is in the running for the PEN Translation Prize for a book-length translation of prose from any language into English. The award is judged by Almiro Andrade, Mayada Ibrahim, Barbara Ofosu-Somuah and Sharon E. Rhodes. The honoree receives a cash prize of $3,000. 

 

In Taiwanese writer Lo Yi-Chin’s Faraway, a fictionalized version of the author finds himself stranded in mainland China attempting to bring his comatose father home. The novel  is a powerful meditation on the nature of family and the many ways blood can both unite and divide us.

 

Jeremy Tiang is a novelist, playwright and literary translator from Chinese. His translations include novels by Yeng Pway Ngon, Yan Ge, Lo Yi-Chin, Zhang Yueran, Shuang Xuetao, Geling Yan, Chan Ho-Kei and Li Er, as well as plays by Chen Si'an, Wei Yu-Chia, Quah Sy Ren and Han Lao Da. His novel State of Emergency (Epigram, 2017) won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. Tiang is originally from Singapore, and now lives in Flushing, Queens.

 

Jensen’s translation of Outgoing Vessel (Action Books, 2021), a collection of poems by Ursula Andkjær Olsen, is up for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, an award open to a book-length translation of poetry from any language into English. It comes with a $3,000 cash prize and is judged by Caro Carter, Michael Favala Goldman and Parisa Saranj. 

 

Outgoing Vessel is the sequel to Jensen’s award-winning translation of Olsen’s collection Third Millenium Heart (Broken Dimanche Press/Action Books 2017). The book-length mirror poem "Udgående fartøj", from Outgoing Vessel, received the Danish Critics Prize for Literature in 2015 and is translated into English for the first time.

 

Katrine Øgaard Jensen is a writer and translator from the Danish. She is a recipient of several fellowships and awards, including the Danish Arts Foundation’s ‘Young Artistic Elite’ Fellowship in 2020 as well as the 2018 National Translation Award in Poetry for her translation of Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s book-length poem, Third-Millennium Heart. A founding editor of EuropeNow and a former blog editor of Asymptote and Words Without Borders, she has served as a judge for several international literary awards, including the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation and the Best Translated Book Awards. Her translation of Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s Outgoing Vessel, a mirror poem/sequel to Third-Millennium Heart, was published by Action Books in March 2021.

Finalists for the 2022 PEN America Literary Awards will be announced in January.