Thu 21 November 2019
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Don DeLillo wins PEN Award
Judges including Philip Roth acclaim writer 'in the highest rank of American literature'

The "combination of terror and comedy and sheer song" in his writing means that "everyone wants to give Don DeLillo an award", according to Philip Roth and his fellow judges on the panel for the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction. This weekend "it's our turn", their statement added.

The Underworld author has been named winner of the $25,000 (£16,000) prize, which goes to an American fiction writer whose work "possesses qualities of excellence, ambition, and scale of achievement over a sustained career which place him or her in the highest rank of American literature". Roth, a previous winner, and his fellow judges Nathan Englander and Joan Acocella said it was "fitting" that an award honouring Bellow should go to DeLillo, as "both men were historical novelists who, in their most ambitious works, dealt with American life in the mid to late 20th century, after World War II, and with the dark knowledge we acquired therein".

"In DeLillo, though, because of his later place in time – he was born in 1936 – the knowledge is graver, and crazier," the judges said.

For the full article

Source: The Guardian

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