The winners and finalists of the 2012 Saroyan Prize for Writing have been announced: Elisabeth Tova Bailey's The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating won in the non-fiction category, and Daniel Orozco's Orientation and Other Stories won for fiction. The finalists for non-fiction are Arion Golmakani's Solacers and John Jeremiah Sullivan's Pulphead; and for fiction, Ben Lerner's Leaving the Atocha Station and Miroslav Penkov's East of the West: A Country in Stories.
From the Stanford News story:
The major literary award, sponsored by Stanford University Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation, encourages new or emerging writers in fiction and non-fiction. The award honors the life and legacy of the American writer and playwright William Saroyan.
William Saroyan was the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Time of Your Life (1939-40), the novel The Human Comedy (1943) and many volumes of short stories, essays and memoirs. Born in Fresno in 1908 to Armenian parents, Saroyan was a high school dropout and largely self-educated. He is best known for his short stories about the experiences of immigrant families and children in California. He died in 1981.
Stanford University Libraries houses the William Saroyan Collection, which includes manuscripts, personal journals, correspondence, drawings and other material.