Today the finalists for the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction were announced. The winner will be announced on March 15.

  • Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg
  • Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule
  • Eric Pucher’s Model Home
  • Brad Watson’s Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives

So we have one debut novel (Model Home) and two collections of short stories (The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg and Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives) going up against two novels that have already received quite a bit of attention and critical acclaim, Lord of Misrule having won the National Book Award and A Visit from the Goon Squad being a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

I read and really enjoyed A Visit from the Goon Squad (though KevinfromCanada and John Self really disliked it). I’ve also read several of Deborah Eisenberg’s short stories in this collection (they’re great). I’ve also got Lord of Misrule on the reading docket. However, now the question is whether to add Model Home and Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives to the reading list.

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