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Tommy Orange wins PEN/Hemingway Award

Breakout Novelist Tommy Orange
Wins $25,000 PEN/Hemingway Award
for There, There

Critically-acclaimed debut author Tommy Orange is the winner of the 2019 PEN/Hemingway Award for his novel There There (Knopf), PEN America announced today. Honoring a distinguished first novel, Tommy Orange will receive $25,000 underwritten by the Hemingway Family and the Hemingway Foundation, as well as a month-long Residency Fellowship at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, a retreat for artists and writers, valued at $10,000. Séan Hemingway, the grandson of the American writer Ernest Hemingway, will present the prestigious literary award to Tommy Orange on Sunday, April 7, during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

Orange’s There There illuminates the lives of urban Native Americans, and explores their struggles with identity and authenticity. This year’s judges — authors Cristina Garcia, Dinaw Mengestu, and Scott Simon — called There There a “devastatingly beautiful novel, as acutely attuned to our current cultural and political condition as it is to the indelible legacy of violence that brought us here.” The judges added that “The breadth and scope of this novel are matched only by the fierce and relentless intelligence that Orange brings to his characters, who despite tragedy, heartbreak and loss, reside in a remarkable world of hard-earned grace.” Read the full story at the PEN/Hemingway site.

Congratulations to Book Club favorite Tommy Orange for his PEN/Hemingway win! To read more about his novel — as well as our other Book Club selections — visit our Books in the Bag page. For more information on the PEN/Hemingway Award, visit their site here.

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