For Immediate Release: March 4, 2008
Further information: Brent R. Carney (617) 514-1662,

PEN New England today announced that Joshua Ferris has won the 2008 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction for Then We Came to the End (Little, Brown and Company). Patrick Hemingway, the son of Nobel Prize-winning writer Ernest Hemingway, will present the prestigious literary award to Ferris on Sunday, March 30, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. New York Times best-selling author Alice Hoffman will serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

The two Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award finalists are Ravi Howard for Like Trees Walking (Amistad/Harper Collins) and Rebecca Curtis for Twenty Grand (Harper Collins). Two writers will receive honorable mention Margot Singer for The Pale of Settlement (University of Georgia Press) and Gary Schanbacher for Migration Patterns (Fulcrum Publishing).

Judges for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award this year were acclaimed fiction writers Ana Castillo, Jennifer Haigh and Ernest Hebert.

Ferris will receive an $8,000 prize from the Hemingway Foundation and a one week residency in The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series at the University of Idaho’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Ferris and competition finalists and runners-up 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, Dagoberto Gilb, Susan Power, Chang-Rae Lee, Ha Jin, Charlotte Bacon, Rosina Lippi, Jhumpa Lahiri, Akhil Sharma, Justin Cronin, Gabriel Brownstein, Jennifer Haigh, Chris Abani, Yiyun Li, and Ben Fountain.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis brought the presentation of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award to the Kennedy Library. 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.

The ceremony will also honor writers Rishi Reddi, Kristen Laine, and Ann Killough as recipients of the 2007 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Awards, given annually to a New England author or a book with a New England setting. Ms. Reddi is being honored in the fiction category for Karma and Other Stories (Harper Collins); Ms. Killough in the poetry category for Beloved Idea (Alice James Books); and, Ms. Laine in the non-fiction category for American Band: Music, Dreams, and Coming of Age in the Heartland (Gotham Books). Judges for the Winship Awards this year were authors Marcie Hershman, Linda McCarriston, and Philip Gerard.

The L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award was established by The Boston Globe in 1975 to honor long-time Boston Globe editor Laurence L. Winship. It has been awarded in the past to E.B. White, Andre Dubus, Susan Cheever, Tracy Kidder, Mary Oliver, Susan Quinn, Jill Ker Conway, Jan Swafford, Anita Shreve, Stanley Kunitz, Leo Damrosch and Jennifer Haigh.

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, The Boston Globe Foundation, the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/Society, and the Ucross Foundation sponsor the presentation of the awards.

PEN New England provides a focal point for New England’s literary community, sponsors literary events, helps advance the cause of literature and reading, and defends free expression. It is one of five regional branches of PEN American Center, which in turn is part of International PEN, the only worldwide organization of writing professionals.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is the world’s repository for the majority of Ernest Hemingway’s papers. 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.” The Hemingway Foundation/Society, PEN New England, The Boston Globe, and the Kennedy Library ensure that the judging and presentation of the award remain in New England. Click here for more information on the Hemingway Collection at the Kennedy Library.

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, March 30 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending should call the Kennedy Presidential Library at (617) 514-1643.

The Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award - Current and Past Winners

1975 Loyd Little

Parthian Shot
1976 Renata Adler Speedboat
1977 Darcy O'Brien A Way of Life, Like Any Other
1978 Reuben Bercovitch Hasen
1979 Alan Saperstein Mom Kills Kids and Self
1980 Joan Silber Household Words
1981 Marilynne Robinson Housekeeping
1982 Bobbie Ann Mason Shiloh and Other Stories
1983 Joan Chase During the Reign of the Queen of Sheba
1984 Josephine Humphreys      Dreams of Sleep
1985 Alan V. Hewar Lady's Time
1986 Mary Ward Brown Tongues of Flame
1987 Lawrence Thornton Imagining Argentina
1988 Jane Hamilton The Book of Ruth
1989 Mark Richard The Ice at the Bottom of the World
1990 Bernard Cooper Maps to Anywhere
1991 Louis Begley Wartime Lies
1992 Edward P. Jones Lost in the City
1993 Dagoberto Gilb The Magic of Blood
1994 Susan Power The Grass Dancer
1995 Chang-Rae Lee Native Speaker
1996 Ha Jin Ocean of Words
1997 Charlotte Bacon A Private State
1998 Rosina Lippi Homestead
1999 Jhumpa Lahiri Interpreter of Maladies
2000 Akhil Sharma An Obedient Father
2001 Justin Cronin

Mary and O'Neil

2002 Gabriel Brownstein The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W
2003 Jennifer Haigh Mrs. Kimble
2004 Chris Abani Graceland
2005 Yiyun Li

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

2006 Ben Fountain Brief Encounters With Che Guevara