In addition to its annual literary awards, PEN America honors "the outstanding careers and lifetime contributions to the world of literature and drama of our era." This year's recipients include Edmund White, who will receive the 2018 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction "for his honest, beautifully wrought and fiercely defiant books, and his body of work including the autobiographical trilogy: A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty and The Farewell Symphony."
Edna O'Brien is receiving the 2018 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature for "her powerful voice and the absolute perfection of her prose, and her body of work including The Country Girls Trilogy, The Light of Evening, Byron in Love and The Little Red Chairs."
In addition, poet Kamau Brathwaite will be honored with the 2018 PEN/ Voelcker Award for "his omnivorously synthetic, insistently local, sinuously syncopated, and consistently exciting work, including Elegguas, Born to Slow Horses, and Ancestors"; translator Barbara Harshav with the PEN/Manheim Medal for Translation "for her outstanding commitment to translation, and her body of work including Between Life and Death and Night Train to Lisbon"; and Dave Kindred with the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing "for his distinguished work and its significant impact on the field of sports writing, including Heroes, Fools and Other Dreamers: A Sportswriter’s Gallery of Extraordinary People; and Around the World in 18 Holes."
The PEN/Laura Pels Foundation for Theater Awards will be conferred on playwrights Luis Alfaro for Master American Dramatist, Sibyl Kempson for American Dramatist in Mid-Career, and Mike Lew for Emerging American Playwright.
The lifetime/career achievement honorees and the other 2018 award winners will accept their prizes February 20 during the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City, hosted by author, social activist and political commentator Sally Kohn.