Sherman Alexie's War Dances is the winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, announced the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in Washington DC on March 23. The award's five 2010 finalists were selected from nearly 350 works by American authors published in the US in 2009.
Judge Al Young said of Alexie's tragicomic collection of stories and poetry, " War Dances taps every vein and nerve, every tissue, every issue that quickens the current blood-pulse: parenthood, divorce, broken links, sex, gender and racial conflict, substance abuse, medical neglect, 9/11, Official Narrative vs. What Really Happened, settler religion vs. native spirituality; marketing, shopping, and war, war, war. All the heartbreaking ways we don't live now - this is the caring, eye-opening beauty of this rollicking, bittersweet gem of a book."
Sherman Alexie, who lives in Seattle, Washington, is the author of four novels, three prior short story collections, numerous books of poetry, documentaries, and films. He is also winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Other finalists for the prestigious US prize included Barbara Kingsolver's historical novel The Lacuna, Lorraine M. López's Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories, Lorrie Moore's post-9/11 novel A Gate at the Stairs, and Colson Whitehead's coming-of-age story Sag Harbor.
Each year's winner - whom the PEN/Faulkner Foundation recognizes as the "best among equals" - receives $15,000, while each of the four finalists receives $5,000.