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PEN American Center announces 2015 Literary Award winners

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Top 10 | When Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans on Aug. 28, 2005, there were 244 patients alive at the city's Memorial Medical Center. Five days later,…

PEN American Center, a global literary organization that aims to protect free expression and celebrate literature, has announced the winners of six book awards and its six career achievement awards.

The book award winners received monetary prizes from $3,000 to $10,000, with the to highest amounts granted to the E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and the John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. Joshua Horwitz’s War of the Whales: A True Story received the science writing award and the award for nonfiction went to Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (also EW’s No. 1 nonfiction pick in 2013).

The Queen’s Bed: An Intimate History of Elizabeth’s Court by Anna Whitelock received the Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography, and New York Times reporter John Branch won the ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing for his book Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard. Both received $5,000.

PEN’s six career achievement awards honored a total of eight recipients in literary professions from playwrights to magazine editing to a translating. Three more awards will be announced on June 8: the Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and the Open Book Award. Recipients of the Fusion Emerging Writers Prize and Heim Translation Fund Grants will be named later this month.