Community
    Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated playwright, novelist and screenwriter, will receive the 2022 Royden B. Davis, S.J., Distinguished Author Award from The University of Scranton’s Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library at a dinner reception on Friday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. Tickets are required for the dinner and award presentation. Proceeds from the event benefit the Friends of the Library Endowment Fund.

    Distinguished Author Award to Honor Ayad Akhtar

    Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated playwright, novelist and screenwriter, will receive the 2022 Royden B. Davis, S.J., Distinguished Author Award from The University of Scranton’s Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library at a dinner reception on Friday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. Tickets are required for the dinner and award presentation. Proceeds from the event benefit the Friends of the Library Endowment Fund.
    October 14, 2022

    Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated playwright, novelist and screenwriter Ayad Akhtar will receive the 2022 Royden B. Davis, S.J., Distinguished Author Award from The University of Scranton’s Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library on Friday, Nov. 18. The award will be presented at a reception and dinner in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. Reservations and tickets are required for the dinner and award presentation, which begins at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the event benefit the Friends of the Library Endowment Fund, which supports special gifts for the Weinberg Library collections and services.

    Akhtar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2013 for his play “Disgraced,” which also received a Tony Award nomination. The play examines the role of religion, politics and identity in post-9/11 America. His play “Junk,” about junk bonds and Wall Street culture of the 1980s, won the 2018 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. His work has been published and performed in over two dozen languages.

    Akhtar is the author of “Homeland Elegies,” which The Washington Post called “a tour de force” and The New York Times called “a beautiful novel…that had echoes of ‘The Great Gatsby’ and that circles, with pointed intellect, the possibilities and limitations of American life.” His first novel, “American Dervish,” was published in over 20 languages. In addition to “Junk” and “Disgraced,” his plays include “The Who & The What” and “The Invisible Hand,” which received the Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award and Olivier, among other accolades.

    Among other honors, Akhtar is the recipient of the Edith Wharton Citation of Merit for Fiction, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Steinberg Playwrighting Award, the Nestroy Award and the Erwin Piscator Award, as well as fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell, the Sundance Institute and Yaddo, where he serves as a board director. Additionally, Akhtar is a board trustee at New York Theatre Workshop and PEN America, where he serves as president. In 2021, he was named the New York State Author, succeeding Colson Whitehead, by the New York State Writers Institute.

    Named in honor of the late Rev. Royden B. Davis, S.J., who served in many roles at the University and as rector of the Jesuit Community, the Distinguished Author Award was established in 1997. The Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library envisioned the series as a way to honor notable fiction and non-fiction authors, and to give them the opportunity to share their literary pursuits and impressions with Northeastern Pennsylvanians. Past recipients of the award have included best-selling authors Madeline Miller, Lorene Cary, Colum McCann, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Jay Parini, Steve Berry, William Berhardt, Mary Gordon, Phillip Margolin, James Grippando, Linda Fairstein, Lisa Scottoline, Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark, Malachy McCourt, Jack Palance and Scranton native Stephen Karam.

    Prior to the reception, a book signing with the author will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the DeNaples Center. The book signing is free of charge and open to the public. A selection of Akhtar’s books will be available for sale at the event.

    For more information and to purchase tickets for the Distinguished Author Award reception and dinner, visit scranton.edu/authaward or contact Kym Fetsko at 570-941-7816 or kym.fetsko@scranton.edu.

    Back to Top