Sunday, March 17, 2013

What The Story Prize Judges Had To Say About Dan Chaon's Stay Awake

photo © Beowulf Sheehan

When the three judges for The Story Prize make their choices, they provide citations for the books. This year's judges were Jane Ciabattari, Yiyun Li, and Sarah McNally. 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 one judge had to say about Dan Chaon’s Stay Awake:
“The haunted characters in Dan Chaon’s Stay Awake haunted me—and kept me awake—long after I’d finished reading the last story. His beautifully crafted sentences perfectly evoke the anxious child buried deep within us all but also lingering just beneath the surface. Closing this book is like waking up from a disturbing dream you can’t quite remember. These stories got under my skin like few things I’ve ever read.”