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James Salter to Receive PEN Malamud Award for Short Fiction

Read more from G&A: The Contest Blog

A blog from: Poets & Writers Magazine

Posted by Prize Reporter on 5.31.12

Last week the PEN/Faulkner Foundation announced James Salter as the winner of its twenty-fifth annual PEN/Malamud Award for short fiction. The author, whose collection Dusk and Other Stories (North Point Press, 1988) won the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award, will receive the five-thousand-dollar prize named in honor of story writer Bernard Malamud on December 7.

Salter is also the author of the story collection Last Night (Knopf, 2005), as well as novels such as A Sport and a Pastime (Doubleday, 1967), Light Years (Random House, 1975), and The Hunters (Harper, 1956). Also recognizing his contribution to short story form, he was awarded the 2010 Rea Award last summer.

Below is a brief digest of online access points to the literature and life of the author PEN/Malamud juror Alan Cheuse said "has shown us how to work with fire, flame, the laser, all the forces of life at the service of creating sentences that spark and make stories burn."

In a 1993 Paris Review interview (with Edward Hirsch), Salter said, "I've never had a story in The New Yorker; everything has been rejected." (Salter's story "Last Night" is available online in the November 18, 2002, issue of the New Yorker.) He also discusses practice (in solitude, in longhand), revision ("Normally I just go a sentence at a time"), and his own short fiction influences (Babel, Chekhov).

The Paris Review published a number of Salter stories, including "Am Strande von Tanger" (Fall 1968). Last year the journal awarded Salter the Hadada Prize, and celebrated the author with a month of coverage on the Paris Review Daily blog. (Online literary review fwriction paid similar tribute.)

The video below, the first in a series of four, Salter reads "Palm Court" from Last Night. The reading took place at an event held by the literary journal Narrative.

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