Hernán Diaz and Robert Moor win Stanford Libraries’ 2018 Saroyan Prize for Writing

2018 Saroyan Award

Writers Hernán Díaz and Robert Moor are the 2018 winners of the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.

Every two years, the prize, established in 2003 by Stanford Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation, honors emerging authors who have found a distinctive creative voice. The award commemorates the life, legacy and intentions of the late literary legend William Saroyan. Díaz and Moor will each receive a $5,000 award.

Díaz won the prize in the fiction category for his debut novel In the Distance (Coffee House Press, 2017). The book, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, follows a young Swedish immigrant who finds himself penniless and alone in California.

Moor was awarded in the nonfiction category for his breakthrough book On Trails (Simon & Schuster, 2016). He was inspired to write the work after a 2009 hike through the Appalachian Mountains.

Stanford Deputy University Librarian MIMI CALTER, who also oversees the administration of the Saroyan Prize, was enthusiastic about the selections.

“The styles of both Díaz and Moor engage readers – differently but both effectively,” Calter said. “They are well deserving of recognition and remind us why it is important to give attention to new literary voices.”

Other finalists included:

  • Fiction, The Traders (Black Lawrence Press, 2017) by Scott Shibuya Brown and Lucky Boy (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017) by Shanthi Sekaran
  • Nonfiction, Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here (Graywolf Press, 2016) by Angela Palm and Shakespeare in Swahililand: In Search of a Global Poet (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016) by Edward Wilson-Lee

Read the full article on the Stanford Libraries website.