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Garth Greenwell ’01 on Shortlist for PEN/Faulkner Award

His debut novel What Belongs To You among five chosen as finalists.

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is the largest peer-juried prize for fiction in the country. The debut novel by Garth Greenwell ’01 (literature) was chosen as a finalist from more than 500 entries.

Winners will be announced April 4, 2017.

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation writes, “Garth Greenwell’s debut novel What Belongs to You begins on a downward arc. The narrator, a young American teacher living in Bulgaria, searches for anonymous sex in public bathrooms under the National Palace of Culture. There he meets a rough, captivating man named Mitko who quickly takes the narrator up on his offer. What follows is the development of a relationship so tangled that it threatens to cast the narrator’s neatly measured life into disarray. Greenwell transforms introspective material into a thrilling narrative that plumbs the depths of what it means to love, what it means to lust, and what we are and are not able to confess.”

Aaron Hamburger writes in The New York Times, “What Belongs to You is a rich, important debut, an instant classic to be savored by all lovers of serious fiction because of, not despite, its subject: a gay man’s endeavor to fathom his own heart.”

Along with What Belongs to You, Greenwell is the author of the novella Mitko, which won the 2010 Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Debut Fiction Prize and a Lambda Award. He lives in Iowa City, where he holds the Richard E. Guthrie Memorial Fellowship at the University of Iowa.