On October 2nd, this year's PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction was awarded at ablack-tie gala hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library. Chosen by a jury ofliterary peers, Ha Jin's novel Waiting garnered the top honor with the coveted$15,000 prize. A recent National Book Award winner, Waiting addresses the complicationsof love in a culture of arranged marriages. In addition to the awards presentation,this year's Gala centered around the theme of "Masks", and featuredthree-minute readings of works penned especially for this occasion by the evening'sdistinguished featured writers. Proceeds from the annual Gala support the endowmentof the PEN/Faulkner Awards, and the efforts of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation tomake writers and their works more accessible to larger and more diverse audiencesin the metropolitan area.
Participating writers included: Donald Antrim, Frederick Busch, Michael Cunningham,Christopher Paul Curtis, Nicholas Delbanco, Stephen Dixon, Stuart Dybek, MylaGoldberg, Alice Hoffman, A. M. Homes, Mary Morris, Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Stout,Jane Vandenburgh, and Al Young.
Co-Chairs: Rose Cochran, Marcelle Leahy, Susan Richards Shreve, andElizabeth Stevens
Master of Ceremonies: George Plimpton