John Updike, the author of more than fifty books, including twenty novels and numerous collections of short stories, poems, and criticism, won the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award for The Early Stories (Knopf). He received $15,000.
The four nominees—Frederick Barthelme for Elroy Nights (Couterpoint), ZZ Packer for Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (Riverhead), Caryl Phillips for A Distant Shore (Knopf), and Tobias Wolff for Old School (Knopf)—each received $5,000. The judges for the award, given to honor the most distinguished work of fiction by a U.S. writer published during the previous year, were Ron Carlson, Chitra Divakaruni, and Elizabeth Strout.
Updike, whose publishing career spans more than fifty years, is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction.