For Immediate Release: March 17, 2014
Media Contact: Rachel Flor (617) 514-1662,

BOSTON, MA – PEN New England today announced that NoViolet Bulawayo has won the 2014 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction for her critically acclaimed We Need New Names (Reagan Arthur Books/ Little Brown and Company).

Patrick Hemingway, the son of Nobel Prize-winning writer Ernest Hemingway, will present the prestigious literary award to Ms. Bulawayo on Sunday, April 6, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, which houses the Ernest Hemingway Collection, containing ninety percent of existing Hemingway manuscript materials.

Bulawayo will receive a $10,000 prize from the Hemingway Foundation and PEN New England, as well as a residency in The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series at the University of Idaho’s MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Born in Zimbabwe, Bulawayo’s semi-autobiographical novel chronicles the life of a 10-year old girl in Zimbabwe during its so-called Lost Decade and then her life as a teenager in present-day America. Bulawayo is presently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani described We Need New Names as, "A deeply felt and fiercely written debut novel ... by turns unsparing and lyrical, unsentimental and poetic, spiky and meditative."

Geraldine Brooks, author of The People of the Book, Caleb’s Crossing and Year of Wonders, will be the featured keynote speaker at the April 6 award ceremony.Australian born, Ms. Brooks worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans. Her novel, March, won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

The two Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award finalists are Mitchell S. Jackson for The Residue Years (Bloomsbury USA) and Anthony Wallace for The Old Priest (University of Pittsburgh Press).

A native of Portland, Oregon, Mr. Jackson won the Hurston Wright Foundation award for college writers.He currently teaches at New York University and is the literary editor of the Dossier Journal.For more information about Mr. Jackson see

Mr. Wallace won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, and the title story of his collection won a Pushcart Prize.He is a senior lecturer in the Arts and Sciences Writing Program at Boston University. For more information about Mr. Wallace see

Three writers will receive honorable mention: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara for Damn Love (Ig Publishing); Kristopher Jansma for The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards (Viking); and Ethan Rutherford for The Peripatetic Coffin (Ecco/ HarperCollins)

The judges for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award this year were acclaimed writers Indira Ganesan, Benjamin Saenz, and Scott Turow.

Ms. Bulawayo and competition finalists and honorable mentions receive Ucross Residency Fellowships at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, a retreat for artists and writers.

The late Mary Hemingway, the wife of Ernest Hemingway, founded the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in 1976 to honor her late husband and draw attention to first books of fiction. Past recipients of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award include Edward P. Jones, Marilynne Robinson, Ha Jin, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis brought the presentation of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award from New York to the Kennedy Library in 1992.

The Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library spans Hemingway’s entire career, and contains ninety percent of existing Hemingway manuscript materials, making the Kennedy Library the world’s principal center for research on the life and work of Ernest Hemingway.Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis described Mary Hemingway’s gift of Ernest Hemingway’s papers to the Kennedy Library as helping “to fulfill our hopes that the Library will become a center for the study of American civilization, in all its aspects.”

For more information on the Hemingway Collection at the Kennedy Library, visit

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, PEN New England, Cerulli Associates, the Friends of the Ernest Hemingway Collection, and the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/Society sponsor the presentation of the PEN/ Hemingway awards. The ceremony includes the presentation of the PEN New England Awards, honoring best works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by New England authors. This year’s honors go to News From Heaven by Jennifer Haigh, What Matters Most by Douglas Bauer, and Frost in the Low Areas by Karen Skolfield.

PEN New England is a worldwide association of writers and all who celebrate literature and defend free expression. It is a branch of PEN American Center and International PEN, the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization.For more information about PEN New England, visit

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and is supported, in part, by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization.

The ceremony will take place on Sunday April 6, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending should call the Kennedy Presidential Library at (617) 514-1643 or register on-line at to reserve a seat.