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Alice McDermott and Claire Jiménez are among 5 finalists for PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction

This combination of cover images shows "Absolution" by Alice McDermott, left, and "What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez" by Claire Jimenez. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux via AP, left, and Grand Central Publishing via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Alice McDermott's novel about military wives in Vietnam, “Absolution,” and the Jamel Brinkley story collection “Witness” are among the finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction.

The other nominees announced Tuesday include Henry Hoke's “Open Throat,” the rare novel to be narrated by a mountain lion; Claire Jiménez's family drama-mystery, “What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez,” and Colin Winnette's tech-saga, “Users.”

“With an astonishingly varied range of protagonists — the ghosts of New York City, U.S. military wives in wartime Saigon, Staten Island Latinas, a virtual reality designer, and a mountain lion living under the Hollywood sign — this year’s finalists offer definitive proof that fiction, to invoke Walt Whitman, contains multitudes,” PEN/Faulkner Awards Committee Chair Louis Bayard said in a statement.

The winner, to be announced next month, receives $15,000. The runners-up each get $5,000. Previous winners include Philip Roth, Ann Patchett and Yiyun Li.