For her championing of so many authors over the past quarter century, Oprah Winfrey is herself receiving a literary honor.
The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is giving Winfrey its inaugural Literary Champion award, a lifetime achievement prize for contributions to literacy and for inspiring younger readers and writers. PEN/Faulkner is otherwise known for the annual fiction prize it has presented since 1981.
“Oprah Winfrey is a literary force field,” PEN/Faulkner Board Vice President Mary Haft said in a statement Tuesday. “She has been like a lighthouse, standing sentry and shining a beacon of light onto literature and into the lives of writers and readers.”
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Winfrey, who has boosted the sales for dozens of authors through the book club she founded in 1996, received an honorary National Book Award in 1999. She will accept her PEN/Faulkner award during a virtual ceremony to be held May 2.