Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Finalists for The Story Prize Are: Charles Baxter, Adam Johnson, and Colum McCann

Finalists: Baxter, Johnson, and McCann
We're pleased to honor as finalists for The Story Prize three outstanding books chosen from 100 entries representing 64 different publishers or imprints. They are:

  • There's Something I Want You to Do by Charles Baxter (Pantheon)
  • Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson (Random House)
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann (Random House)

There's Something I Want You to Do by Charles Baxter collects 10 stories, each with a one-word title representing a virtue or a vice. The title phrase resonates throughout, as several recurring characters find themselves speaking or hearing this request. The six stories in Adam Johnson's Fortune Smiles take place in territory as diverse as California, Louisiana, what was formerly East Germany, and North Korea, portraying difficult situations with sadness and humor. Colum McCann's collection, Thirteen Ways of Lookingconsists of a powerful novella and three equally absorbing stories that explore how people process violence and loss.

This year's judges—Story Prize winning author Anthony Doerr, Brooklyn Librarian Rita Meade, and New Yorker staff writer Kathryn Schulz—will decide the outcome.

The annual award event will take place at the New School’s Auditorium at 66 West 12 Street in New York City at 7:30 p.m. on Wed., March 2. Tickets cost $14. That night, Baxter, Johnson, and McCann will read from and discuss their work on-stage. At the end of the event, Julie Lindsey will announce the winner and present that author with $20,000 (which remains the biggest top prize of any annual U.S. book award for fiction) along with an engraved silver bowl. The two runners-up will each receive $5,000.

In the weeks ahead, we'll announce this year's winner of The Story Prize Spotlight Award, and we'll publish an index of guest posts form 2015 authors, and a long list of other exceptional collections we read last year.