Literary AchievementGAMBIER, Ohio (October 21, 2005) Roger Angell, the renowned baseball writer who has also been fiction editor of the New Yorker, and Umberto Eco, the Italian author of such best-selling novels as The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum, have been named the winners of the 2005 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. The announcement was made by David Lynn, editor of the Kenyon Review and professor of English at Kenyon, the headquarters for the literary magazine.
Roger Angell will be recognized for his outstanding contributions to American literature-from his own lyrical essays on sports to his work nurturing literary excellence as the New Yorker's fiction editor. Umberto Eco, a philosopher and historian as well as a novelist, will receive a special international award for his masterful and richly rewarding fiction.
The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement will be presented to Angell and Eco at a gala dinner on Thursday, November 10, at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City. Members of the literary community and other luminaries are expected to be on hand, including past winners of the award.
"Umberto Eco is a writer of singular international importance," said Lynn. "His novels, books, and essays have entertained and challenged us. More important, they have changed the way we perceive the world and human attempts to make sense of it."
Of Angell, Lynn said, "For more than half a century, Roger Angell has been both a magnificent writer-often using baseball as a threshold into lyrical inquiries on American life-and an influential fiction editor at the New Yorker, selecting and shaping the work of the best known authors in the world."
The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement was first presented in 2002 to novelist E.L. Doctorow, a 1952 graduate of Kenyon, who is known for such works as The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, and Loon Lake and more recently for The March. In 2003 the recipient was novelist and short-story writer Joyce Carol Oates, author of Wonderland, Do With Me What You Will, and We Were the Mulvaneys, among many other titles. Last year, Seamus Heaney, one of the world's best-known poets and translators, received the award. Heaney is also the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The presenting sponsors for this year's event are the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard C. Breeden & Co., Bloomberg, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, and UBS Securities LLC. Paul B. Healy, chair of the Review's board of trustees and vice president of corporate investor relations for Hollinger International, is chair of the event.
Proceeds from the dinner, and from the live and silent auctions that accompany it, benefit the Kenyon Review's endowment fund, ensuring the legacy of one of America's most revered literary journals. It also supports scholarships and fellowships to the Review's summer writing programs, the Writers Workshop for adults and the Young Writers program for high-school students. In June 2006, the second annual Kenyon Review Workshops in Italy program will be offered for readers and writers. The magazine's literary outreach programs include the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers, established in 2003, which attracts thousand of entries from across the globe to its online contest at KenyonReview.org.