Van der Vliet Oloomi's 'Call Me Zebra' wins PEN/Faulkner


NEW YORK (AP) — Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s “Call Me Zebra,” a novel of exile and literary theory, is this year’s winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction.

In giving her the $15,000 prize Monday, PEN/Faulkner judges praised her “singular, adventurous, and intellectually humorous voice.” Van der Vliet Oloomi, whose other books include the novel “Fra Keeler,” teaches creative writing at the University of Notre Dame. Runners-up for the PEN/Faulkner include Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Overstory.”

Van der Vliet Oloomi said in a statement that her favorite books included William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” and Toni Morrison’s “Beloved.” She said “Call Me Zebra” was in part a tribute to writers who had the courage and the will to imagine “what it means to be human” in a cruel world.

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