Honoring Deborah Eisenberg



Deborah Eisenberg, ca. 2009. Photograph courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


We are proud to announce that The Paris Review will honor Deborah Eisenberg with the 2019 Hadada Award for lifetime achievement. Selected by the editorial committee and presented each year at our Spring Revel, the Hadada is given to “a distinguished member of the writing community who has made a strong and unique contribution to literature.” This is a high bar, but Deborah sails over it.

A writing professor at Columbia University, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and the recipient of honors including the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, a Whiting Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Eisenberg has published four collections of stories: Transactions in a Foreign Currency (1986), Under the 82nd Airborne (1992), All Around Atlantis (1997), and Twilight of the Superheroes (2006). All four collections were reprinted as The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg (2010). Her fifth collection, Your Duck Is My Duck, was published by Ecco today.

Eisenberg, who only began publishing work around the age of forty, quickly established herself as a virtuoso of the short story, her primary medium. She first appeared in The Paris Review, fully formed, as a subject in our Writers at Work interview series, and her story “Taj Mahal” was published in the Fall 2015 issue. In her interview with Catherine Steindler, she explains: “When I was in high school, all my friends said they were going to be writers. And I thought, How come you get to be a writer, and I don’t? I thought WRITER was written on their foreheads and they saw it when they looked in the mirror, and I sure didn’t see it when I looked in the mirror. I always thought of writing as holy. I still do. It’s not something I approach casually.” We are delighted to bestow upon Deborah this magazine’s highest and holiest award.

The Hadada has been awarded since 2003, when the Review gave the inaugural prize to the legendary publisher Barney Rosset. Since then, greats such as Joan Didion, John Ashbery, Lydia Davis, Robert Silvers, and Paula Fox have received the honor. Last year, The Paris Review presented the award to the incomparable Joy Williams.

The Hadada is one of three prizes presented at our annual gala, the Spring Revel. Known to some as “prom for intellectuals,” the Revel is an evening of merriment, frippery, and fine prose. All proceeds from the Revel support the magazine, which has been a nonprofit since 2004. Claim your seat for April 2, 2019, when you can join us to support the Review and celebrate Deborah Eisenberg.