Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Three Wonderful Finalists for the Story Prize

I was very pleased to learn today that the three finalists for this year's Story Prize, a prestigious prize for short story collections (former winners include Edwidge Danticat and Tobias Wolff), were all books I had read and posted about here this past year. Often when I see lists of finalists for literary prizes, or “best books of the year” lists, I am struck by how many books on the list I haven’t read, often because they just didn’t appeal to me. So to discover this prize finalist list with its three wonderful choices is a real pleasure and feels like a sort of validation of my preferences in short stories. The three collections (with the dates I wrote about them here in parentheses) are: “Bark,” by Lorrie Moore (3/21/14); “The Other Language,” by Francesca Marciano (7/26/14); and “Thunderstruck,” by Elizabeth McCracken (10/10/14). I recommend them all to you. Which would I choose if I were the judges? It is hard to say, but if pressed I would perhaps choose “The Other Language” for its sheer originality. The prize will be awarded on March 4th in New York.

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