Honored for 'Human Stain'
Philip Roth wins second PEN/Faulkner Award
WASHINGTON -- For the second time in Philip Roth's prestigious career as a novelist, he has won the coveted PEN/Faulkner award for fiction.
Roth's peers picked his 2000 work "The Human Stain" (Houghton Mifflin) to receive the award and its $15,000 cash prize, it was announced Monday. The award will be presented May 12 at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Roth, 68, also won the award in 1994 for "Operation Shylock." He is the second author to win two PEN/Faulkner honors. John Edgar Wideman took home the honor in 1984 for "Sent for You Yesterday," and in 1991 for "Philadelphia Fire."
"The Human Stain," billed as a political parable, paints the picture of an academic career assassination. Set in 1998 at Athena College and told in the voice of Roth's alter ego Nathan Zuckerman, the story follows a faculty dean who is slapped with bogus racism charges and is forced into retirement.
The Newark, New Jersey-born Roth has been on a roll of late. His 1997 novel "American Pastoral" won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. He won the 1995 National Book Award for "Sabbath's Theater," the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award for "Patrimony," and that same award in 1987 for "The Counterlife."
He's perhaps best known for his 1969 novel, "Portnoy's Complaint," and his 1959 novella/story collection, "Goodbye, Columbus."
Other finalists for this year's PEN/Faulkner award will receive $5,000: Michael Chabon for "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," Millicent Dillon for "Harry Gold," Denis Johnson for "The Name of the World" and Mona Simpson for "Off Keck Road."
The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction was established in 1980 by writers to honor their peers. The award is named for William Faulkner, who used his Nobel Prize funds to create an award for young writers, and PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists), the international writers' organization.
The 2001 Pulitzer Prize for fiction will be announced on Monday, April 16.
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