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Stephen King to Receive 2018 Literary Service Award

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Bestselling psychological fiction author, horror writer and proclaimed master of all things gruesome, Stephen King, can now add “2018 PEN America Literary Service Award Winner” onto his already extensive catalog of achievements.

The award– previously won by Sondheim, Faulkner, Atwood, Rowling and a slew of other literary greats–aims to honor a popular writer who speaks to the human condition in a unique or original way.

“The award [is given to] a critically acclaimed writer whose body of work helps us understand and interpret the human condition, engendering empathy and imagination in even the darkest hours,” according to the PEN America website.

Thanks to his chilling tales, haunting diction and outspoken nature, King was an obvious fit.

“King has fearlessly used his bully pulpit as one of our country’s best-loved writers to speak out about the mounting threats to free expression and democracy that are endemic to our times… He helps us all to confront our demons– whether a dancing clown or a tweeting president,” PEN president Andrew Solomon said.

Be it an isolated hotel in the mountains of Colorado, a lonely teenager with a crazy religious mom, a writer held prisoner by a mentally unstable nurse or even a personal recount of his own successes and failures, Stephen King never fails to make his stories and the meanings hidden underneath applicable to his readers’ lives. Buried beneath the gruesome and gory storyline, King’s words consistently speak to the blatant truth of existence. For that, along with numerous other contributions to society, it is no wonder he was rewarded with the immense honor of receiving the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award.

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