Spiotta wins 2017 John Updike Award

Dana Spiotta, an associate professor in the MFA program in creative writing at Syracuse, has been named recipient of the John Updike Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Other writers honored in 2017 by the American Academy of Arts and Letters are Joan Acocella, Ayad Akhtar, Chris Bachelder, Paul Beatty, Judy Blume, Kathleen Graber, Jennifer Haigh, Lee Clay Johnson, August Kleinzahler, Elizabeth Kolbert, Robert Macfarlane, Karan Mahajan, Jamaal May, Dominique Morisseau, Lynn Nottage, Richard Sieburth, Safiya Sinclair, and Luis Alberto Urrea. ( “Judy Blume among authors given prizes by arts academy.”)

The American Academy of Arts and Letters is chartered by Congress, established in 1898 to “foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts.” Among the founding members were Republican Teddy Roosevelt and Democrat Woodrow Wilson.

The John Updike Award in Literature ($20,000) is given every two years to a mid-career writer whose “work has demonstrated consistent excellence.”

Spiotta’s first novel, Lightning Field (Scribner, 2001), was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her second novel, Eat the Document (Scribner, 2006), won the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a National Book Award finalist. Stone Arabia (Scribner, 2011) was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her most recent novel is Innocents and Others (Scribner, 2016).

“In ‘Innocents and Others’ Dana Spiotta explores the creative tensions between two female filmmakers” (L.A. Times)

“Dana Spiotta: ‘I always think the novelist should go to the culture’s dark places and poke around'” (Believer Magazine)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *