Toni Morrison to Receive PEN America Honor

PEN America has announced the recipients of some of its biggest annual awards. Among the honorees is Toni Morrison, who will be taking home the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction.

Morrison will receive $25,000 for winning, and she’ll join an impressive list of prior honorees that includes Don DeLillo, Louise Erdrich, Cormac McCarthy, and Philip Roth. Morrison was chosen by a panel of judges that included Erdrich, who was last year’s winner.


Toni Morrison is one of America’s greatest novelists. She’s known for her socially conscious historical fiction, which focuses on race, gender, and class issues, including her novels Beloved (1987) and The Bluest Eye (1970) – two of her best-known works. Morrison has already won plenty of prestigious awards – including the Nobel Prize in Literature, which she won in 1993.

Morrison’s award is not the only 2016 PEN America award; more than a dozen of its 2016 prizes have been announced so far, and more remain to be decided. We’ve highlighted the lifetime achievement prize winners below, and you can check out the full list (including awards for emerging writers, individual books, and even works in progress) over at PEN America’s website.


PEN/Saul Bellow Award

Toni Morrison


Master American Dramatist

Lynn Nottage


PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing

John Schulian


PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry

Ed Roberson