The Story Prize Announces Its Finalists
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ow in its fourth year, The Story Prize, a prestigious annual award for books of short fiction, is pleased to honor three outstanding short story collections chosen from an exceptional group published in 2007. The winner will be announced at an event the evening of February 27 at The New School in New York City. The three finalists are:
Sunstroke and Other Stories by Tessa Hadley (Picador) - These ten nuanced stories examine the emotional lives of middle class men and women and, in the process, touch on feelings such as longing, loneliness, lust, nostalgia, and regret. They're set in contemporary Britain, from the 1970s to the present, with characters ranging in age from teens to middle age. These stories are honest, insightful, surprising, painstakingly observed, and superbly crafted.
Tessa Hadley teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University, in Bath, England. She is the author of three novels: The Master Bedroom, Everything Will Be All Right, and Accidents in the Home, which was in the running for the Guardian First Book Award. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Guardian, and The Daily Mail. She lives in Cardiff, Wales.
Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam (Weinstein Books) - The protagonists of these twelve connected stories are four young doctors based in Toronto. The book traces their development from medical school candidates to students, interns, and established physicians. Along the way, romantic entanglements, the pressures of the job, moral dilemmas, and threats to their own health test them, as the Toronto hospital where the doctors work becomes the center of a dangerous epidemic. These powerful and compelling stories show a side of doctors and medicine that patients rarely see.
Vincent Lam was born in London, Ontario, and studied medicine in Toronto, where he is now an emergency physician. This, his first book, won Canada's 2006 Giller Prize for fiction, making him the youngest writer ever to do so. His work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and Carve. Lam's family is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam, and his first novel will be a multigenerational saga set in Saigon during the Vietnam War. He lives in Toronto.
Like You'd Understand, Anyway by Jim Shepard (Alfred A. Knopf) - These eleven stories feature diverse settings such as the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and it's aftermath, a Roman outpost in hostile Britannia, a Nazi expedition in Tibet, a Texas hotbed of high school football, a female cosmonaut preparing for a Sputnik launch, and the executioner's scaffold in revolutionary France. Each story is seen through the eyes of a believable and sympathetic protagonist facing compelling dilemmas that are easy to relate to and feel utterly authentic, no matter how exotic the circumstances seem.
Jim Shepard is the author of six novels-including Project X, Nosferatu, Lights Out in the Reptile House, and Kiss of the Wolf-and two previous collections of stories, Love and Hydrogen and Batting Against Castro. His stories have appeared in A Public Space, Granta, Harper's Magazine, McSweeney's, Ploughshares, and Tin House, among other publications. He teaches at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Founder Julie Lindsey and Director Larry Dark selected the three finalists from among 74 books entered by 48 publishers and imprints. The winner of The Story Prize will be determined by three judges:
David Gates, a novelist, short story writer, and senior editor at Newsweek.
Patricia Groh, coordinator of community services at the Skokie (Illinois) Public Library.
Megahn O'Rourke, literary editor of Slate, a poetry editor at The Paris Review, and a poet, reviewer, and essayist.
The Story Prize's annual event will be at the New School's Tishman Auditorium in New York City at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27. The three finalists will read selections from their work, after which Larry Dark will interview each writer on-stage. At the end of the event, the winner will be announced and presented with $20,000 and an engraved silver bowl. The two runners-up will each receive $5,000. Past winners of The Story Prize include The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat (Knopf) and The Stories of Mary Gordon by Mary Gordon (Pantheon).
To order tickets ($16 for general admission) to The Story Prize event at the New School's Tishman Auditorium (66 West 12th Street) at 7:30 pm on Feb. 27, go to SmartTix.com and search for "story prize" or make a reservation by calling the New School box office at 212-229-5488 Monday through Friday 1-7 pm or e-mailing them at email@example.com.
For more on The Story Prize, including a forthcoming list of other noteworthy story collections published in 2007, as well as links to purchase books online, go to www.thestoryprize.org.
© The Story Prize 2008