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Yiyun Li’s ‘The Book of Goose’ wins PEN/Faulkner award

Apr 4, 2023, 10:33 AM

This cover image released by FSG shows "The Book of Goose" by by Yiyun Li, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. (FSG via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(FSG via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Yiyun Li’s novel “The Book of Goose,” the story of two mischievous teenage girls in post-World War II France and their improbable literary success, has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction.

Li will receive $15,000 for the PEN/Faulkner, which in previous years has been given to Philip Roth, Ann Patchett and Deesha Philyaw, among others. She has published both novels and story collections and received numerous other prizes, including the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, presented to her last December.

On Tuesday, PEN/Faulkner judges praised her for writing “a dazzling, conventions-defying, nuanced novel.”

“It’s a tale of a complicated friendship, of two girls bending toward and away from each other. The prose is singular; the central characters, Agnès and Fabienne, haunted us with their radical ingenuity and bold, unruly ambitions. We kept finding that we wanted to press this book on others,” the judges’ statement reads.

The other PEN/Faulkner finalists — Jonathan Escoffery, for “If I Survive You”; Kathryn Harlan, for “Fruiting Bodies”; Dionne Irving, for “The Islands”; and Laura Warrell, for “Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm” — will each be awarded $5,000.

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Yiyun Li’s ‘The Book of Goose’ wins PEN/Faulkner award