2009 PEN Hemingway Foundation Award

For Immediate Release: March 3, 2009
Further information: Tom McNaught 617-514-1656, Tom.McNaught@JFKLFoundation.org
Amy Macdonald 617-514-1645, Amy.Macdonald@NARA.gov


BOSTON, MA – PEN New England today announced that Michael Dahlie has won the 2009 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction for A Gentleman’s Guide to Graceful Living (W.W. Norton). Patrick Hemingway, the son of Nobel Prize-winning writer Ernest Hemingway, will present the prestigious literary award to Dahlie on Sunday, March 29, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes will serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. 

The two Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award finalists are Sana Krasikov for One More Year(Spiegel & Grau) and Ed Park for Personal Days (Random House).  Two writers will receive honorable mention:  Doug Dorst for Alive in Necropolis (Riverhead Hardcover) and Matthew Quick for The Silver Linings Playbook (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

Judges for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award this year were acclaimed fiction writers Stewart O’Nan, Richard Russo and Anita Shreve.

Dahlie 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. Dahlie 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, 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, Ben Fountain and Joshua Ferris.
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 Margot Livesey, Nancy K. Pearson, and Patrick Tracey as recipients of the 2009 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Awards, given annually to a New England author or a book with a New England setting. Ms. Livesey is being honored in the fiction category for The House on Fortune Street (HarperCollins); Ms. Pearson in the poetry category for Two Minutes of Light (Perugia Press); and, Mr. Tracey in the non-fiction category for Stalking Irish Madness (Bantam). Judges for the Winship Awards this year were authors Joe Mackall, Dennis Nurkse, and Sandra Scofield.

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, Jennifer Haigh, K.C. Frederick, Sebastian Junger, Louise Glick, Rishi Reddi, Kristen Laine and Ann Killough.

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. For more information on the Hemingway Collection at the Kennedy Library, visit www.jfklibrary.org

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 29 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 or register on-line at www.jfklibrary.org to reserve a seat. 


The Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award
Current and Past Winners

1976 Loyd Little   Parthian Shot
1977 Renata Adler   Speedboat
1978 Darcy O'Brien  A Way of Life, Like Any Other
1979 Reuben Bercovitch  Hasen
1980 Alan Saperstein   Mom Kills Kids and Self
1981 Joan Silber   Household Words
1982 Marilynne Robinson  Housekeeping
1983 Bobbie Ann Mason  Shiloh and Other Stories
1984 Joan Chase   During the Reign of the Queen of Sheba
1985 Josephine Humphreys  Dreams of Sleep
1986 Alan V. Hewar   Lady's Time
1987 Mary Ward Brown  Tongues of Flame
1988 Lawrence Thornton  Imagining Argentina
1989 Jane Hamilton   The Book of Ruth
1990 Mark Richard   The Ice at the Bottom of the World
1991 Bernard Cooper   Maps to Anywhere
1992 Louis Begley   Wartime Lies
1993 Edward P. Jones  Lost in the City
1994 Dagoberto Gilb   The Magic of Blood
1995 Susan Power   The Grass Dancer
1996 Chang-Rae Lee   Native Speaker
1997 Ha Jin    Ocean of Words
1998 Charlotte Bacon  A Private State
1999 Rosina Lippi   Homestead
2000 Jhumpa Lahiri   Interpreter of Maladies
2001 Akhil Sharma   An Obedient Father
2002 Justin Cronin   Mary and O'Neil
2003 Gabriel Brownstein  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W
2004 Jennifer Haigh   Mrs. Kimble
2005 Chris Abani   Graceland
2006 Yiyun Li   A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
2007 Ben Fountain   Brief Encounters With Che Guevara
2008 Joshua Ferris  Then We Came to the End