Wednesday, March 5, 2014

George Saunders Wins His First Book Award, The Story Prize, for Tenth of December

George Saunders with the winner's bowl
(photo by Beowulf Sheehan)
To say that George Saunders' work has been widely celebrated, is something of an understatement. He has been a fellow of both the McArthur and Guggenheim variety. He has won the PEN/Malamud Award for short fiction. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker and Harper's magazine and have been chosen for the annual O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Story collections numerous times. He has appeared on Charlie Rose, Late Night with David Letterman, and The Colbert Report. Magazine cover stories have been written about him, and he has had had a best-selling book, which appeared on the The New York Times lists for 15 weeks and reached as high as no. 2 on the hardcover list (all for a short story collection!).

Pretty heady stuff—especially considering that those are just some of the highlights. Still, one thing George Saunders had never accomplished—that is until last night—was winning a book award. Well, now he has. Saunders' story collection, Tenth of December, is this year's winner of The Story Prize. After he and fellow finalists Andrea Barrett and Rebecca Lee read from and discussed their work on stage at The New School in New York City, the Founder of The Story Prize, Julie Lindsey, announced Saunders as the winner, and he took the stage to accept the award.

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