Winner of the Pulitzer Prize


Viet Thanh Nguyen was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the 2020 Arts and Letters Award in Literature for exceptional accomplishment in any genre.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the names of 19 writers who will receive its 2020 awards in literature. The awards will be presented in New York at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May. The literature prizes, totaling $350,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. The Academy’s 250 members propose candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners. This year’s award committee members were Louise Glück, John Guare, Amy Hempel, Jayne Anne Phillips, Terry Tempest Williams, and Joy Williams.

Arts and Letters Awards in Literature
Eight awards of $10,000 each honoring exceptional accomplishment in any genre.


The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Early members include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Julia Ward Howe, Henry James, Edward MacDowell, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton. The Academy’s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues.

In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.


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