The Center for Fiction Lifetime of Excellence in Fiction Award honors a writer who, through their exceptional body of work, has significantly shaped our culture and perspective. The award is not given annually; rather, it is bestowed upon an author at the discretion of The Center for Fiction Board of Directors.
2022: Wole Soyinka
Nigerian playwright, poet, novelist and political activist Wole Soyinka received The Center for Fiction Lifetime of Excellence in Fiction Award in 2022. The award was presented at The Center for Fiction Annual Awards Benefit at Cipriani 25 Broadway on December 6th, 2022, where Soyinka appeared in conversation with Erroll McDonald, Chair of The Center for Fiction Board of Directors.
2021: Kazuo Ishiguro
Nobel Laureate and Booker Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro received The Center for Fiction Lifetime of Excellence in Fiction Award in 2021. Ishiguro’s novels include The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go, and Klara and the Sun; his writing expands ideas of what is possible in fiction, creating previously unexplored pathways for understanding our world—and creating new ones. The award was presented at The Center for Fiction Annual Awards Benefit and 200th Anniversary Celebration at Cipriani 25 Broadway on December 7th, 2021, where Ishiguro appeared in conversation with New Yorker Editor David Remnick.
2018: Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison, the first Black woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature and one of the greatest writers in American history, received our inaugural Lifetime of Excellence in Fiction Award. Author Jesmyn Ward has remarked of Morrison’s work, which includes masterpieces The Bluest Eye, Sula, and Beloved, “Toni Morrison wrote to us again and again, exhorting our beauty, making us grapple with our pain, reaffirming our humanity.” Oprah Winfrey presented the award at our Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at Cipriani.