Saturday, March 16, 2013

What The Story Prize Judges Had to Say About Junot Díaz's This Is How You Lose Her

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 Junot Díaz’s This is How You Lose Her:

“Junot Díaz is a great writer, a blessing to the history of literature and to those of us lucky enough to watch his work unfold. His stories are infused with something that seems beyond the sum of their words. It may be simply style, which Proust calls the necessary condition to art. His work is so distinctive that if I didn't read another word by him for 50 years, in one sentence I would know him again. But it feels deeper than even style, it feels alchemical. When someone tells me they don’t appreciate Junot Díaz, I feel sad for them, as if they’ve told me they don’t like puppies, children, strangers, dancing, and friendship. His books are some of the most vital, enjoyable, smart art of our day, and This Is How You Lose Her shows that his talent is deepening and unfolding still.”