The King is mightier with the PEN

Stephen King, a Beamer favorite and this month’s author (11/22/63 being the January Beamer selection), has been awarded the PEN America Literary Service Award for his contributions in opposing oppression and championing the best in humanity through his prose, his philanthropy, and his public support for freedom of expression on any and all topics.  In 2016, the Service Award was given to J. K. Rowling.

Stephen King portrait

Mr. King, winner of the PEN(nywise) Award, ready to serve the cause of unsettling the reader. Portrait credit:

Announcing the award for Mr. King, Andrew Solomon, president of PEN America, said:

Stephen has fearlessly used his bully pulpit as one of our country’s best-loved writers to speak out about the mounting threats to free expression and democracy that are endemic to our times. His vivid storytelling reaches across boundaries to captivate multitudes of readers, young and old, in this country and worldwide, across the political spectrum. He helps us all to confront our demons—whether a dancing clown or a tweeting president.

PEN America is one of over 100 chapters of an international literary association organized to fight for the freedom to write.  In addition to the Service Award, it also offers Literary Awards for outstanding works in debut fiction, non-fiction, essays, translation, sports writing, science writing, biography, as well as an ‘open book’ category for any genre by writers of color.  The 2017 Jill Stein Book Award winner was The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between, Hisham Matar’s memoir about searching for the reasons behind his father’s mysterious disappearance.


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