Thursday, February 27, 2020

What The Story Prize Judges Had to Say About Finalist Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

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 and librarian Kristen Arnett, publisher Andy Hunter, and writer Tiphanie Yanique. 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 what the judges had to say about Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine:

“This is a short story collection that will find its way into your dreams—often as nightmares. The women of these stories will awake you in the middle of the night—they will be a warning. Fajardo-Anstine crafts each story around major turning points in the lives of Native and Latinx women from and of Colorado. As a writer, she is able to build characters who withstand and succumb to incredible physical pain and emotional strife-—but we never feel that we must look away. She makes her characters human enough that we feel it our duty to look, to keep reading. Without being overly plot driven, the stories are page turners. Without being overly dramatic, the stories make the reader feel agony. Fajardo-Anstine achieves this by writing with restraint in her sentences but with brimming emotional and physical honesty. Women have bodies, emotions, histories—and most of all women have each other. After each story I found myself wanting to call, touch, be with my sister, friends, daughters, nieces, cousins, aunts, mothers. Another way to be with them is to say, read this book.”