Twitter) that the three finalists for The Story Prize this year are also finalists for two other book awards. Don DeLillo's The Angel Esmeralda and Steven Millhauser's We Others are among the five finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. And Edith Pearlman's Binocular Vision is one of five finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It's also up for the National Book Critics Circle Award (as announced earlier) and was a finalist for the National Book Awards in November.
One reason we established The Story Prize partly was that we believed the major U.S. book awards for fiction hadn't often enough recognized short story collections—and that the form deserved its own award. Rarely does a story collection win these prizes. PEN/Faulkner has the best track record in this regard, having given its fiction prize to two story collections in the past two years: Sherman Alexie's War Dances in 2010 and The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg in 2011, as well as three others in the past 20 years—for a total of five winners.
Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, which the publisher maintained was a novel, The Pulitzer Prize last went to a story collection in 2009—Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. Before that, it most recently went to a story collection in 2000, when Jhumpa Lahiri won for Interpreter of Maladies. But those are the only two books of short fiction that have won in the past 20 years—even 30 years. The last short fiction winner before 2000 was The Stories of John Cheever in 1979.
best book in the NBA's first 60 years in 2010. And more short story collections seem to have been among the finalists in recent years.
In any event, we're happy that all three of this year's finalists for The Story Prize have a shot at winning other awards, too, because we believe in these three books and wish them—and short story collections in general—as much favorable attention as possible. Good luck all.
(You can see DeLillo. Millhauser, and Pearlman read and discuss their work at The Story Prize event at The New School on March 21.)