Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Award Roundup: PEN/Malamud, O'Connor, and Pulitzer

The story never sleeps. And a lot has been going on as awards season winds downs. Among the highlights:
  • The PEN/Malamud Award announced its 2010 winners on Apr. 28: Edward P. Jones and Nam Le. Both have had story collections long-listed for The Story Prize in recent years.

  • The recently renamed* Cork City - Frank O'Connor Short Story Award announced its 57 book long list on Apr. 29. Short story collections published between September 2009 and August 2010 were eligible. The award will announce six finalists in July and its winner at a short story festival in Cork in September. The prize is still €35,000. With the price of the euro sliding, that could amount to less in dollars this year.
  • The Pulitzer Prize announced its fiction winner, the novel Tinkers by Paul Harding, on Apr. 12. Of note, two short story collections were the other finalists. One was Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet. The other was Story Prize winner In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin. The latter was a strange choice, considering that the award is: "For distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life." In Other Rooms is a great book, but it hardly fits the bill. All but one of the stories are set in Pakistan. And the one that isn't takes place in Paris, albeit with an American protagonist. Also of note: two of the three finalists were published by independents, Bellevue Literary Press and Soft Skull Press.

There's even more going on than that, as the momentum for the story continues. Look for more posts on books we're reading for The Story Prize and about the grassroots Short Story Month, otherwise known as May.

*It was the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, but it appears that the Cork City Council is now sponsoring the prize. State sponsorship of book awards, not to mention corporate sponsorship, is unheard of in the U.S. but can help sustain book awards and augment prize money.