WASHINGTON (AP) _ A $15,000 literary prized announced by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation is going to a first novel about a bear that plays the alto saxophone.

``The Bear Comes Home'' is the work of 51-year-old Rafi Zabor, a jazz drummer and music writer who lives in New York.

``Encounters with living jazz legends, adventurous road trips and a shattered interspecies love affair capture the bear in a melodic story that is human-like in both its tune and tenor,'' according to Thursday's announcement.

The bear also likes to quote Shakespeare and poet William Blake.

The prize, named for a venerable literary club and Nobel prize-winning novelist William Faulkner, is one of the country's largest for fiction. Zabor and four nominees, who get $1,000 each, will receive their prizes in a ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library next month. The three judges considered 270 novels and short stories published last year.