Author Don DeLillo, shown in 2008, is one of five American writers nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. (Stephen Chernin/Associated Press)

Two veteran American fiction writers — Don DeLillo and Russell Banks — are competing for the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction.

DeLillo, author of novels such as White Noise and Cosmopolis, has been nominated his first volume of stories The Angel Esmeralda.

Banks is nominated for Lost Memory of Skin, a controversial novel written from the point of view of a sexual offender whose life has become impossible in contemporary America.

The other nominees for the award, which celebrates the best work of American fiction:

  • Anita Desai for The Artist of Disappearance.
  • Steven Millhauser for We Others: New and Selected Stories.
  • Julie Otsuka for The Buddha in the Attic.

A jury of three chose the nominees from 300 works of fiction.

The winner, who will receive $15,000 US, will be announced on March 26. The four remaining finalists will receive $5,000 each.