At 10 a.m. this morning in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale President Peter Salovey announced the winners of the 2014 Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize. The intention of the prize, which bestows $150,000 to each of the recipients, is to allow English-language-writers the opportunity to solely pursue their craft without having to fear for their livelihood.
This year, the award recognizes eight writers, a diverse group hailing from seven different countries at all stages in their writing careers. The winners were chosen from a pool of 64 nominees from 16 different countries, all of whom had no prior knowledge of their nomination.The prize has three different categories: fiction, non-fiction, and drama.
Aminatta Forna from Sierra Leone, Nadeem Aslam from Pakistan, and Jim Crace from the United Kingdom were chosen for their work in fiction. Pankaj Mishra from India and John Vaillant from the United States and Canada won for non-fiction. The award in drama went to Kia Corthron, Sam Holcroft and Noëlle Janaczewska, from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, respectively.
“Stories are crowding in, demanding their space on the page. The Windham Campbell Prize at Yale gives me the independence and the confidence to take on those stories, free from everyday pressures,” Crace said. “The timing couldn’t be more perfect. My gratitude couldn’t be greater.”
The writers will attend a ceremony at Yale on September 15, 2014 to accept their prize. Afterwards, a three-day literature festival will be held to honor the writers and their literary accomplishments.
This is the second year the prize has been offered. In 2013, nine writers, aged 33 to 87, were selected.