Friday, March 8, 2019

What The Story Prize Judges Had to Say About Deborah Eisenberg's Your Duck Is My Duck

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 writer Jo Ann Beard, Washington Post book critic Ron Charles, and bookseller Veronica Santiago Liu. 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.

“I love Deborah Eisenberg and believe in her work and in her vision. The subject matter she chooses is fascinating, and worthwhile, and I approached each story with renewed interest and hope. She's smart and has lived, and understands the human psyche and the hopeful hopelessness with which we all (of a certain age) approach life.”

“The stories collected in Deborah Eisenberg’s Your Duck Is My Duck feel strange, and only when you begin to vibe with their rhythms do you realize that it is, in part, because she has somehow successfully embedded her characters into your head, so that you hear with their ears, shudder with their confusions, search for the answers they don’t have and aren’t likely to have by story’s end. While the characters’ voices ring in your ears, it is almost easy to forget that each story is framed around deep loss. These absences, coupled with the absurdities that unravel inside the minds of people, make for an unexpectedly humane whole in each unique story.”