April 17th, 2024

Claire Jiménez’s ‘What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez’ wins the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction


By The Associated Press on April 2, 2024.

This cover image released by Grand Central Publishing shows "What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez" by Claire Jimenez. (Grand Central Publishing via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) – Claire Jiménez’s “What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez,” a hard-hitting and comic novel set in New York City about a Puerto Rican family’s search for a missing girl, has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

The award, announced Tuesday, includes a $15,000 cash prize.

“Claire Jiménez has crafted a visceral work of art full of nuance, humor, and humanity, through incisive and loving character work, the finely calibrated unspooling of narrative, and the exquisite deployment of language, ranging from poetic prose to Spanglish to the sociolect of working-class Staten Island,” according to a statement by the prize judges.

The four other finalists – Jamel Brinkley for “Witness,” Henry Hoke for “Open Throat,” Alice McDermott for “Absolution” and Colin Winnette for “Users” – will each receive $5,000.

Previous winners of the PEN/Faulkner award include Philip Roth, Ann Patchett and Deesha Philyaw.

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