NEW YORK — Celebrated author John Updike added another honor to his list Monday when he was named the winner of the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction for his short story collection "The Early Stories."
The book, containing most of his stories written between 1953 and 1975 and published by Alfred A. Knopf, was chosen ahead of four other finalists by the judges -- writers Ron Carlson, Chitra Divakaruni and Elizabeth Strout.
Carlson described the book as "an astonishing display of what prose should be and what it can do. While there is no single galvanizing historical event, nevertheless Updike tells us what we were like as the 20th century bumped along."
Updike, 72, who has written more than 50 books, including 20 novels and collections of short stories, poems and criticism, will receive a $15,000 prize. He's also won a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Each of the four other finalists -- Frederick Barthelme for "Elroy Nights"; ZZ Packer for "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere"; Caryl Phillips for "A Distant Shore"; and Tobias Wolff for "Old School" -- will receive $5,000.