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University of Iowa News Release

Feb 10, 2006

UI Writers' Workshop Alumnus Adam Haslett Wins 2006 PEN/Malamud Award

University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnus and recent visiting faculty member Adam Haslett has been selected, along with Tobias Wolff, to receive a 19th-annual PEN/Malamud Award. Given annually since 1988 in honor of the late Bernard Malamud, this award recognizes a body of work that demonstrates excellence in the art of short fiction.

Haslett's debut short story collection, "You Are Not a Stranger Here," came to national attention in 2002, when it was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, and won the L. L. Winship PEN/New England Award.

Described as "courageous and compelling as any in today's fiction" in a Library Journal review, Haslett's work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, The Nation, Zoetrope All-story and "Best American Short Stories, 2003."

He is currently a Guggenheim Fellow in fiction and has been a fellow of the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Michener/Copernicus Society of America.

In addition to his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Writers' Workshop, he is a graduate of the Yale Law School. He was a visiting faculty member at the Writers' Workshop last academic year, and he is visiting faculty this spring at Columbia University.

In 2002 his reading at the Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City was broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on UI radio station WSUI, and he also gave a faculty reading last spring on the UI campus, presented by the Writers' Workshop.

The PEN/Malamud Award includes a Memorial Reading in the 2006/07 PEN/Faulkner reading series at the Folger Shakespeare Library and a prize of $5,000, which will be shared by Wolff and Haslett, following a policy set in recent years to award the prize jointly to a more established writer and one at the beginning of a literary career, replicating Bernard Malamud's relationship as a master writer to younger writers. The selection committee includes a panel of PEN/Faulkner board members, together with representatives of Malamud's literary executors.

Previous PEN/Malamud Award winners include: John Updike, Saul Bellow, George Garrett, Frederick Busch and Andre Dubus, Eudora Welty, Peter Taylor, Grace Paley, Stuart Dybek and William Maxwell, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro, John Barth, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Ann Beattie and Nathan Englander, Sherman Alexie and Richard Ford, Junot Diaz and Ursula K. Le Guin, Barry Hannah and Maile Meloy, Richard Bausch and Nell Freudenberger, and last year, Lorrie Moore.

During his 37-year writing career, Malamud received the National Book Award twice as well as the Pulitzer Prize, a PEN/Faulkner Award nomination and the Gold Medal for lifetime achievement from the National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. His published works include "The Natural," "The Magic Barrel," "The Fixer" and "The Stories of Bernard Malamud."

Talking about the art of the short story, Malamud said, "I like packing a self or two into a few pages, predicting lifetimes. The drama is terse, happens faster, and is often outlandish. A short story is a way of indicating the complexity of life in a few pages, producing the surprise and effect of a profound knowledge in a short time."

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation, now celebrating its 26th year, is committed to building audiences for literature and bringing writers together with their readers. It sponsors the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the largest peer-juried award for fiction in the United States; the PEN/Malamud Award, honoring excellence in the short story; and the Writers in Schools program, which brings nationally and internationally-acclaimed authors to public high school classrooms in many cities.

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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