Sunday, March 8, 2015

News Coverage of The Story Prize Event and Announcement

L to R: Story Prize winner Elizabeth McCracken, founder Julie Lindsey,
finalists Francesca Marciano and Lorrie Moore, and director Larry Dark

Here are some links to press accounts of The Story Prize event on March 4, at which eventual winner Elizabeth McCracken and fellow finalists Francesca Marciano and Lorrie Moore read from and discussed their work onstage at The New School, and Julie Lindsey announced the winner:

Reuters







Saturday, March 7, 2015

Video: The Story Prize Event on March 4 at The New School with Francesca Marciano, Elizabeth McCracken, and Lorrie Moore

In case you missed The Story Prize event on March 4 at The New School, here's the video. That night, the three finalists—Francesca Marciano, Elizabeth McCracken, and Lorrie Moore—read from and discussed their work on-stage. And at the culmination of the event, we announced the winner for books published in 2014: Elizabeth McCracken's Thunderstruck


What the Judges Had to Say About Francesca Marciano's The Other Language

When the three judges for The Story Prize make their choices, they provide citations for the books. This year's judges were Arsen Kashkashian, Noreen Tomassi, and Laura van den Berg. We include the citations in congratulatory letters we present to each finalist, along with their checks ($20,000 to the winner, $5,000 to the other two finalists). To protect the confidentiality of the judges' votes and the integrity of the process, we don't attribute citations to any particular judge.



Here's what the judges had to say about Francesca Marciano's The Other Language, one of three finalists for The Story Prize:
In this lyrical collection of stories, Francesca Marciano’s characters travel the world from India to Africa from Rome to New York, always attuned to the small social nuances that separate us in more profound ways than geography. They occupy Italian villas, Indian guesthouses, and Kenyan beach bungalows without truly inhabiting them. Marciano’s people come together in startling ways that endure, while bonds that appeared permanent are so fragile they wither away in a single bitter conversation. Regardless of setting or circumstances, the prose is so supple, so sure-handed, that we as readers are prepared to journey wherever Marciano’s imagination will take us.

Friday, March 6, 2015

What the Judges Had to Say About Lorrie Moore's Bark

When the three judges for The Story Prize make their choices, they provide citations for the books. This year's judges were Arsen Kashkashian, Noreen Tomassi, and Laura van den Berg. We include the citations in congratulatory letters we present to each finalist, along with their checks ($20,000 to the winner, $5,000 to the other two finalists). To protect the confidentiality of the judges' votes and the integrity of the process, we don't attribute citations to any particular judge.


Here's what the judges had to say about Lorrie Moore's Bark, one of three finalists for The Story Prize:
Bark is the great American short story collection. It shows how much can be accomplished in the form without any of the seams ever showing. These eight stories are great tragedies, with all the comedy present that is inherent to the form. The situations portrayed are the stuff of life’s middle period, when things fall apart. People divorce or die; children become less than their potential; the political becomes personal. I have never read a more heartbroken collection, and I laughed the whole time. Welcome to America.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What the Judges Had to Say About Elizabeth McCracken's Thunderstruck

When the three judges for The Story Prize make their choices, they provide citations for the books. This year's judges were Arsen Kashkashian, Noreen Tomassi, and Laura van den Berg. We include the citations in congratulatory letters we present to each finalist, along with their checks ($20,000 to the winner, $5,000 to the other two finalists). To protect the confidentiality of the judges' votes and the integrity of the process, we don't attribute citations to any particular judge.


Here's what the judges had to say about Elizabeth McCracken's Thunderstruck, this year's winner of The Story Prize:
Elizabeth McCracken’s Thunderstruck is a tour de force of heartbreak, magic, beauty, and longing—all rendered in incandescent prose. Each story in the collection reads like a masterwork, rich and confident and surprising, and together they form an electrifying whole. Thunderstruck is one of those rare collections that will remain imbedded in my imagination for life.
It seems impossible that stories so filled with disillusionment, disappearance, and all manner of disconnection among such a flawed group of human beings could leave the reader feeling so hopeful, so renewed. How does Elizabeth McCracken manage to do this so beautifully in her extraordinary new collection, Thunderstruck? It's not only because sentence by sentence she is such an accomplished and wonderfully observant writer. It is not only because she is the master of the small and perfectly telling detail—the mother's light tap of a hand on her child's coffin, a suitcase fallen over like "a shot dog," "a pair of red and white espadrilles that had run in the rain." It is because she writes with such an open and compassionate heart, so that even the most damaged and lost of her characters thrum with life. In her work the ordinary becomes the transcendent, everyday sadnesses and losses are witnessed and honored, and the reader closes the book with the sense, that yes, life can be cruel and wanton and its losses devastating, but it is also profoundly beautiful.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Winner of The Story Prize Is Thunderstruck by Elizabeth McCracken


Elizabeth McCracken's first story collection in 21 years proved to be a triumphant return to the form, as she took home the top prize of $20,000 and an engraved silver bowl as winner of The Story Prize for her collection, Thunderstruck (The Dial Press). After she and fellow finalists Francesca Marciano and Lorrie Moore read from and discussed their work on-stage at The New School in New York City on March 4, the Founder of The Story Prize, Julie Lindsey, announced McCracken as the winner, and the author took the stage to accept the award to enthusiastic applause from the audience.

In the days ahead, here and on our Web site (as well as on Instagram) we'll post more about the event, including citations from the judges, photos from the event and the after party, links to media coverage, and, eventually, video.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Please Join Us for The Story Prize Event on March 4 at The New School

Between the time we announce The Story Prize finalists in early January and the event at which we honor all three of them and present one with the $20,000 top prize, we spend a lot of time worrying about filling the seats in The New School auditorium. We always end up doing pretty well on that count (and probably would without worryng about it as much as we do), but we're still eager to have a substantial audience to support the three authors, The Story Prize, and the form we exist to promote—short fiction.

(L to R: Francesca Marciano, Elizabeth McCracken, and Lorrie Moore)
The authors always prove to be interesting and amusing, but it's also no secret that writers aren't necessarily the most outgoing bunch. We all know that their real performances take place when they are alone and writing, and that what matters most happens on the page and through the deeply personal experience of reading their work. So whether you plan to join us or not, we can't recommend too highly the three books we're honoring: The Other Language by Francesca Marciano, Thunderstruck by Elizabeth McCracken, and Bark by Lorrie Moore.

You can watch the event later on YouTube or FORA.tv, and we post a lot of pictures in the days that follow, but it is, of course, impossible to reproduce the live atmosphere in the auditorium. Nothing can take the place of the authors' presence, the burst of laughter or buzz that comes from the room when one of them reads or says something funny or profound, or the feeling of suspense before we announce the winner, the electric moment when founder Julie Lindsey speaks that name, and the moving experience of seeing someone accept the prize—most often a hard-working, supremely talented, and deserving author who hasn't received a comparable honor before. (For instance, last year was the first time George Saunders had ever won a book award.)

Tickets are $14 (close to the same as a movie ticket). The event is a week from today, on March 4 at 7:30 p.m., at The New School auditorium at 66 W. 12th St. Please join us if you can.