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April Ayers Lawson Wins Plimpton Prize; Elif Batuman Wins Inaugural Terry Southern Prize for Humor

March 23, 2011 | by

Left, April Lawson; Right, Elif Batuman.

On Tuesday, April 12, The Paris Review will single out two young writers at its Spring Revel.

April Ayers Lawson will receive the Review’s Plimpton Prize for “Virgin,” which appeared in our fall issue and marked Lawson's national debut.

Elif Batuman will receive the first-ever Terry Southern Prize for Humor for “My Twelve-Hour Blind Date, with Dostoevsky,” her five-part account of a marathon theatrical performance on Governor’s Island. The series appeared last July on The Paris Review Daily.

The Plimpton Prize for Fiction is a $10,000 award given to a new voice published in The Paris Review. The prize is named for the Review’s longtime editor George Plimpton and reflects his commitment to discovering new writers of exceptional merit. The winner is chosen by the Board of the Review. This year's prize will be presented by Ann Beattie.

The Terry Southern Prize for Humor is a $5,000 award recognizing wit, panache, and sprezzatura in work published by The Paris Review or online by the Daily. Perhaps best known as the screenwriter behind Dr. Strangelove and Easy Rider, Terry Southern was also a satirical novelist, a pioneering New Journalist, and a driving force behind the early Paris Review.

This year’s winner of the Terry Southern Prize was chosen by a panel of three judges: critic Sam Anderson of The New York Times, editor Chris Jackson of Spiegel & Grau, and writer Fran Lebowitz. Lebowitz will present the prize.

And, of course, the honoree of this year’s Revel is James Salter. Robert Redford will present Salter with the 2011 Hadada, the Review’s lifetime achievement award recognizing a “strong and unique contribution to literature.” Previous recipients of the Hadada include John Ashbery, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton (posthumously), Barney Rosset, Philip Roth, and William Styron.

Come help us celebrate—and support your favorite literary magazine (and arts gazette!). Buy your ticket now!

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