The Story Prize: 15 Years of Great Short Fiction ed. by Larry Dark (Pre-Order)
On Sale March 5, 2019 • ISBN 9781936787630
“The Story Prize—which recognizes the best story collection to be published each year—has quickly established itself as a nifty jewel in a writer’s crown.” —The New York Times
This anthology of short stories marks the fifteenth anniversary of The Story Prize and includes one story from each of the annual winning collections, beginning with Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker and concluding with Elizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible.
The founder of The Story Prize, Julie Lindsey, and its director, Larry Dark, created this award to address the lack of one specifically for collections of stories. Together they choose three finalists from the previous year’s publications, which are sent to three judges—an author, a bookseller or librarian, and a critic or editor—who, independently of one another, relay their choices. The prize is then presented at an annual celebration in New York, where the finalists read from their books and then discuss their work with Dark. Excerpts from these interviews—or, in a few cases, the judges’ citations—introduce each story in the book.
As for the stories themselves, as Dark writes: “If you’re looking for themes to mine from the fourteen stories collected here, good luck. Each is distinctive, sometimes jarringly dif-ferent in tone, scope, and language from the story that proceeds and follows it. For instance, Patrick O’Keeffe’s elegiac novella set in rural Ireland hands the baton to Mary Gordon’s short humorous story that takes place in a New York City podiatrist’s office. After Tobias Wolff ’s brief classic story about a literary critic who experiences a succession of memories in the nanoseconds before he dies from a gunshot wound comes Daniyal Mueenuddin’s detailed exploration of the life of a Pakistani servant that unfolds over many years.”
The other winners whose stories are collected here are Jim Shepard, Anthony Doerr, Steven Millhauser, Claire Vaye Watkins, George Saunders, Elizabeth McCracken, Adam Johnson, and Rick Bass. The authors chose each of the stories included to read at the annual Story Prize event, and each is a small miracle of inventiveness and passion.
ABOUT THE EDITOR:
Larry Dark has been the director of The Story Prize since its inception in 2004. Before that, he served as series editor for six volumes of The O. Henry Prize Stories (1997–2002) and compiled, edited, and introduced four other anthologies: Literary Outtakes, The Literary Ghost, The Literary Lover, and The Literary Traveler.