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Viet Dinh is a finalist for the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award for the novel "After Disasters."

PEN/Faulkner finalist

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

UD’s Viet Dinh nominated for major fiction award for 'After Disasters'

Viet Dinh, assistant professor of English at the University of Delaware and an award-winning short story writer, is a finalist for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his novel After Disasters.

Dinh is one of five finalists for the award, which honors the best work of fiction published by an American in a single calendar year. Judges selected the five after considering almost 500 works of fiction by American writers last year.

The largest peer-reviewed literary prize in the country, the PEN/Faulkner Award is one of the most prestigious awards for fiction in the United States. This year’s winner will be announced April 4.

After Disasters, Dinh’s first novel, recounts the stories of four disaster assistance workers who travel to India to help after a major earthquake.

In preparing to write the book, Dinh has said, he did research on the process of disaster assistance and spent time in India, but he also wanted to tell a deeper story about the characters themselves and their internal struggles.

In July, After Disasters was listed as one of the “Most Anticipated” upcoming books of 2016 by The Millions, an online literary magazine. The magazine quoted author Amber Dermont, who said the novel marked “the debut of a brilliant career.”

At UD, Dinh taught fiction writing for several years as an adjunct instructor in English, before being named an assistant professor last year. His stories have been widely published, and he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Delaware Division of the Arts, as well as an O. Henry Prize, considered the nation’s top prize for short fiction.


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