The third annual Edith Pearlman Creative Writing Award was presented to senior Ani Mathison at the Brookline High School awards ceremony on Tuesday April 24. The award was established in 2016 by the Trustees of the Brookline Library to honor Pearlman, who the Boston Globe has called “our greatest living short story writer.”
The award, given in conjunction with the Brookline High School English department, honors a student who has demonstrated exceptional passion and skill in the area of creative writing. Ben Berman, Ani’s creative writing teacher, says “I have been blown away by her depth and facility with language.” Mary Burchenal, English Department Chair, notes that “Ani has been an anchor member of our Slam Poetry team for 3 years and is currently co-captain. She writes lovely, highly crafted poetry, and delivers it powerfully. She has served as an excellent role model for the younger poets.”
In addition, Ani has been a staff writer and photography editor for Sagamore, the High School’s newspaper, for several years.
Edith Pearlman is a long-time resident of Brookline. She is celebrated for her non-fiction and travel writing and especially for her short fiction. Her essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times, and many other publications.
Among her acclaimed books of short stories is the anthology, Binocular Vision, which was nominated for the National Book Award for fiction in 2011 and in 2012 won the National Book Critics Circle award. Her most recent collection of stories, Honeydew (2015), has been praised by novelist Ann Patchett, New Yorker literary critic James Wood, and many others. Pearlman’s skillfully crafted, compassionate work should inspire young writers like Ani Mathison and future winners of the Edith Pearlman Book Award.