PEN Awards include posthumous honour for Ursula Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin, the science fiction/fantasy author who died last month, was the recipient Tuesday night of the $10,000 US PEN Awards prize for best essay writing.

Layli Long Soldier's poetry collection wins for best book, Jenny Zhang named best debut fiction

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2001 file photo, author Ursula Le Guin appears at her home in Portland, Ore. Le Guin, who died earlier this week at age 88, is a nominee for a PEN America literary award for her book of essays. Winners will be announced Feb. 20. (Benjamin Brink/The Oregonian via AP) (The Associated Press)

The late Ursula K. Le Guin was among the recipients of literary honours presented Tuesday night in New York by PEN America.

The science fiction/fantasy author's No Time to Spare won a $10,000 US prize for best essay writing. Le Guin died last month at age 88 and her award was announced during a New York ceremony hosted by PEN, the literary and human rights organization.

Poet Layli Long Soldier's debut collection Whereas won a $75,000 award for the year's best book. Jenny Zhang's story collection Sour Heart received a $25,000 prize for best debut fiction and Alexis Okeowo's A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa won a $5,000 award given to outstanding works by "authors of colour."

"This year's awardees represent the near and far corners of the literary landscape, including writers who have shattered barriers of race, class, ethnicity, geography, gender and sexual orientation to bring stories to new audiences, unlock empathy and take places of distinction within our collective canon," PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel said in a statement. "In times of challenge great literature offers a desperately needed window onto other possibilities."

Lifetime achievement awards had been previously announced and were given to Edmund White, who won the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for American fiction, and Edna O'Brien, winner of the PEN/Nabokov Award for international literature.