Plus: EW reveals this year's winners
Chelsea Handler and Cecile Richards will present special awards at PEN Center USA’s 27th annual Literary Awards Festival next month, EW has learned exclusively.
Handler, who currently hosts the Netflix talk show Chelsea, will present the Freedom to Write Award to New York Times journalists Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt. The pair exposed a series of settlements related to sexual harassment allegations against former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, reporting that eventually led to the anchor’s surprising exit from the network. Handler has frequently skewered O’Reilly and Fox News, and was particularly vocal when the harassment allegations came to light.
Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, will introduce Margaret Atwood, the previously announced recipient of PEN’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I’m thrilled to be presenting Margaret Atwood with the distinct honor of the PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” Richards said in a statement. “It’s fitting that the author of The Handmaid’s Tale is being honored at a time when women’s rights are under attack like never before. I look forward to celebrating Atwood’s achievements next month alongside some of the best writers of our time, and will continue to stand with Planned Parenthood patients and all women in the fights ahead.”
Atwood has emerged as a major cultural figure in 2017, with her 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale getting a widely acclaimed and suddenly prescient TV adaptation on Hulu. The show won Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmy Awards on Sunday, where Atwood made a surprise appearance and received a standing ovation.
EW can also exclusively report the winners of the 2017 PEN Center Literary Awards, listed below.
Fiction: Martin Pousson, Black Sheep Boy
Creative Nonfiction: Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air
Research Nonfiction: Elizabeth Letts, The Perfect Horse
Poetry: Solmaz Sharif, Look
Young Adult: Stacey Lee, Outrun the Moon
Translation: Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Confessions by Rabee Jaber
Journalism: Eli Saslow, The White Flight of Derek Black
Drama: Lisa Loomer, Roe
The PEN Center USA Literary Awards Festival will take place Friday, Oct. 27, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, with Nick Offerman hosting.