Friday, March 7, 2014

What the Judges Had to Say About George Saunders' Tenth of December

When the three judges for The Story Prize make their choices, they provide citations for the books. This year's judges were Stephen Enniss, Antonya Nelson, and Rob Spillman. 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.

George Saunders accepts The Story Prize
(photo: Beowulf Sheehan)

Here's what the judges said about George Saunders' Tenth of December, this year's winner of The Story Prize:
"This is a masterful short story collection. Full of formal innovations whose purpose is to illuminate character in new ways, these stories reveal the darkest parts of humanity while simultaneously giving us light and hope. They read like an indictment of our current condition but also as a timeless reflection on morality in a frequently unmoral world. The shifts in tone and point of view, sometimes within the same story, are dazzling. Craft, vision, and heart come together in an alchemical reaction creating a work of art that is much greater than the sum of its parts. At turns beautiful and heartbreaking, Tenth of December is destined to be a work of art that defines our times." 
"George Saunders offers, in Tenth of December, a vision and version of our world that takes into account the serious menace all around us without denying the absurd pleasures that punctuate life. This book is very funny and very sad. Its author is generous and wise, and his voice, in bringing us The News, is utterly, charmingly, wonderfully unique."