Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What The Story Prize Judges Had to Say About Don DeLillo's The Angel Esmeralda

© Beowulf Sheehan
When the three judges for The Story Prize make their choices, they provide citations for the books. This year's judges were Sherman AlexieBreon Mitchell, and Louise Steinman. 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 Story Prize finalist Don DeLillo's The Angel Esmeralda (Scribner):

“How can stories be so beautiful—the structure stripped of plot, the characters unmoored from recognizable routines? These are elegiac tales for our troubled times—whether the protagonist is looking at our fragile Earth from outer space or contemplating the face of a murdered feral child on a billboard in the Bronx where highways and rail tracks meet. The unsaid and the undefined all contribute to the mysterious clarity of these stories. Miracles might still happen to lift us out of our terror. Moments of tenderness in empty galleries or darkened theaters or in the cockpit of a death-dealing space ship still speak to our humanity, to possibility, to hope. Every story in this curated collection is a gem.”