Imbolo Mbue won the $15,000 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for Behold the Dreamers (Random House). Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Chris Abani said the book "displays a remarkable confidence impressive for a debut novel. Imbolo Mbue has a fine ear for dialogue and the nuance of language. Without ever leaning into sentimentality and yet managing to steer clear of cruelty, she pushes her characters through true difficulties into a believable and redemptive transformation. Behold the Dreamers reveals a writer with a capacious imagination, and the warmth and compassion to craft a career of beautiful and important novels."
German illustrator and picture book author Wolf Erlbruch won the five million Swedish kronor (about $554,380) Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, which is given annually to authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters "to promote interest in children's and young adult literature."
In praising this year's winner, the jury's citation noted that Erlbruch "makes existential questions accessible and manageable for readers of all ages. With humor and warmth deeply rooted in humanist ideals, his work presents the universe on our scale. He is a master of the illustrator's art who honors tradition whilst opening new creative doors.... His visual style grows out of a long tradition and is characterized by strong lines and graphic precision. He often combines different techniques: collage, pencil and chalk drawing, graphic experimentation and watercolor."
Erlbruch has written 10 books of his own and illustrated nearly 50 titles by other authors. He is best known for his illustrations of The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business (1994).
Finalists for the 2017 Hugo Awards and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer have been announced and can be seen here. Winners will be unveiled August 11 at the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki, Finland.