Marie du Vaure, Granta editor John Freeman, and author Jayne Anne Phillips. 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 finalist Suzanne Rivecca's Death Is Not an Option:
Suzanne Rivecca's stories are truly “illuminated lamentations . . . testimonies of harm” that continually startle and surprise. These stories of female sensibility speak to our times with ironic, brilliant strength, their voices linked by a young writer's empathetic genius. Rivecca's unhappy, discerning, always inquiring protagonists journey to various hearts of darkness, crossing cultural, religious, sexual, and generational boundaries with wit and angelic rage. Each seems a soul pulsing with linguistic energy and exhilarating intelligence. Rivecca reminds us that we are all connected, similar to our very molecules and erratic genes, inextricably bound by desire, shame, guilt, and ecstatic possibility. Death Is Not an Option becomes an impassioned directive about how to read, how to write, and how to live.photo © Eric Richards