Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis has been announced as the winner of the PEN/Faulkner award.
The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is awarded annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to the authors of the year's best works of fiction by living American citizens.
This year's judges, Patricia Engel, Ru Freeman and Porochista Khakpour, commented: "Set against spectacular Oaxacan landscapes and full of surrealist possibilities, Sea Monsters is a stunning exploration of the ways its brilliant teenage narrator’s interior and exterior worlds are both fluid and in opposition. This dreamlike near-fable of equal parts philosophical and intellectual vigor is a book unlike any other; a true standout and a gift for these times in which we are all craving escape."
“I feel deeply honored, grateful, and overwhelmed to receive this news, which arrives at a moment of strange, unfamiliar isolation from the outside world,” said Aridjis. “I have been carrying this story with me for 30 years, ever since living it, and never in my wildest dreams would have expected it to join such splendid company. Sea Monsters is at heart a novel about transformation, and my most fervent wish at present is that when humanity emerges from this crisis, we do so transformed, with a greater appreciation of one another, and of other species, and with a vast sense of renewal.”
All five books and their authors will be honoured in a 40th Anniversary PEN/Faulkner Award Celebration tribute video that will be released on Monday, May 4.