Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Five American writers and the English writer David Constantine have made the shortlist for the 2010 Frank O'Connor Short Story Award. Three are début authors. No Irish.

If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This (Picador UK, 2010) by Robin Black
Mattaponi Queen (Graywolf Press, 2010) by Belle Boggs
Wild Child (Bloomsbury, 2010) by TC Boyle
The Shieling (Comma Press, 2009) by David Constantine
Burning Bright (HarperCollins, 2010) by Ron Rash
What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2009) by Laura van den Berg

More at Munster Lit here
I haven't read any of these. In fact I haven't heard of any of them before either. I hope this competition will increase the publicity for them.

Previous Winners:
  • 2005 - Yiyun Li for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
  • 2006 - Haruki Murakami for Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
  • 2007 - Miranda July for No One Belongs Here More than You
  • 2008 - Jhumpa Lahiri for Unaccustomed Earth
  • 2009 - Simon Van Booy for Love Begins in Winter

I read Yiyun Li, which palled a bit on me. The subject matter I felt I'd read before. I also read Miranda July which I adored until the last couple of stories when the voice and the wackiness felt a bit contrived. Maybe I read it too fast though.

Anyone read the others?


Anonymous said...

Well, I also loved July's collection and I didn't change my mind about her by the end. I have a vague memory of reading a review that said Murakami's collection wasn't great - at least not in comparison with his novels.
I bought Van Booy's collection and read two stories - one I loved and the other I hated so the jury's out so far!

Anonymous said...

I loved Miranda July. I've read a few Lauren Van Den Berg stories, very decent and plot-driven. The Robin Black collection is on my to-buy list.