Judges Ron Carlson, Chitra Divakaruni, and Elizabeth Strout recently selected five finalists for the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award, the country's largest peer-juried fiction prize.
The nominees are Frederick Barthelme for Elroy Nights (Couterpoint), ZZ Packer for Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (Riverhead), Caryl Phillips for A Distant Shore (Knopf), John Updike for The Early Stories (Knopf), and Tobias Wolff for Old School (Knopf). The winner, to be announced in April, will receive $15,000. The four finalists will each receive $5,000.
The award is given to honor the most distinguished work of fiction by a U.S. writer published during the previous year.