The Nigerian author and photographer Teju Cole’s latest work Black Paper, a collection of essays, has been named a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the essay. This is a second appearance for Cole, who was nominated in the same category for his debut 2018 collection Known and Strange Things.

Named in honor of author and preservationist Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, the essay award is one of a series of honors conferred by PEN America annually for works of outstanding merit. Winners in the essay category receive a cash award of $10,000.

Teju Cole’s Black Paper, his eighth book, is a collection of twenty-five essays that explore varying but linked themes ranging from humanity to history. It was published in 2021 by the University of Chicago Press, in e-book, as well as paperback.

Joining Cole on the shortlist are Hanif Abdurraqib for A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, André Aciman for Homo Irrealis: Essays, Ann Patchett for These Precious Days: Essays, and Margaret Renkl for Graceland, at Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache from the American South.

Winners in the different categories will be announced on February 28, 2022 at a ceremony at The Town Hall in New York.

Go here for more information and to see the the other award categories.

Congratulations to Teju Cole!