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UIC LAS English Alumna Ivelisse Rodriguez is among the Finalists for the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Foundation Award

Judges have selected the five finalists for the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction,
America’s largest peer-juried prize for fiction. The finalists are: Blanche McCrary Boyd for Tomb of the
Unknown Racist (Counterpoint), Richard Powers for The Overstory (W.W. Norton), Ivelisse
Rodriguez for Love War Stories (Feminist Press New York), Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi for Call Me
Zebra (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and Willy Vlautin for Don’t Skip Out on Me (Harper Perennial).

Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Ivelisse Rodriguez earned a PhD in English and creative writing from the
University of Illinois at Chicago and an MFA from Emerson College. She has published fiction in All about
Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color, as well as Obsidian, Label Me Latina/o, the Boston Review, Kweli,
Aster(ix), and the Bilingual Review, among other publications. Love War Stories is her first book.

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s mission is to bring writers and readers together to foster a literate,
creative society. The organization administers two of the country’s preeminent literary awards: the
PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the largest peer-juried award for fiction in the United States, and the
PEN/Malamud Award, honoring excellence in the short story. In Washington, DC, PEN/Faulkner’s
Writers in Schools program brings books and authors into public and public charter school classrooms to
inspire the next generation of readers and writers. The organization also curates an annual series of
Literary Conversations centered around the work of accomplished authors that are designed to inspire
public discourse about deeply relevant subjects. For more information, visit