Here's the edited video of The Story Prize event held on March 15.
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Thursday, March 16, 2023
|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 critic, writer, and editor Adam Dalva, writer Danielle Evans, and bookseller and podcaster Miwa Messer. 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 the judges had to say about Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty:
“There is much to love about this stylish, inventive collection—Ma melds humor and the surreal beautifully, resulting in a project that is at once absurd and insightful. Two of the stories feel like all-time greats: ‘Peking Duck’ is a many-layered masterpiece of telling and retelling that serves as counterpoint to the argument that nothing can be gained by writing about a writing class; ‘Returning’ is a meandering, brilliant look at separation, art, and unique traditions. The rest of the collection lives up to these high points, especially ‘Office Hours,’ with its uncanny ending. Who but Ling Ma could give us flirty yetis and an unforgettable baby arm, dangling? This is an expansive, bold, and delightful book.”“The stories in Ling Ma’s collection, Bliss Montage, sneak up on you. Relationships old and new, a marriage on the rocks, a friendship that’s run its course, a wildly challenging pregnancy—we think we’ve heard these setups before. But then Ma takes a remarkable tack: 100 ex-boyfriends in your home, an unexpected baby arm, a Yeti, a harrowing homecoming (of sorts). At first the absurdities reveal a familiar sense of disbelief and loss. Sit longer, and the comically outlandish stories in Bliss Montage reveal a thrumming rage and grief, the shocking truths we try to ignore.”
“There’s a glorious soul—a convergence of humor and grief, anger and love—pulsing through Morgan Talty’s indelible debut, Night of the Living Rez. The language sings and stings in these painful, powerful tragicomic stories of David, his family and his friends, and a community challenged by poverty, addiction and trauma.”
“Talty’s ambient, hazy stories are small wonders, teeming with pain that is consistently countered by the quiet, resilient warmth coursing through this fascinatingly structured collection. Though many of the collection's characters, inhabitants of the Penobscot Indian Nation reservation, suffer from difficulties ranging from mental illness to addiction, Talty’s sense-work and insightful touch offer light in the face of despair.”
|Photo © Beowulf Sheehan|
“Andrea Barrett’s Natural History moves brilliantly through time and memory, building a complicated and compelling family tree. The stories in this collection are mesmerizing in their ability to balance illumination of the unknown or forgotten—lingering in lost histories, small moments of scientific wonder, and the private secrets of relationships—with a reverence for the unknowable, and a willingness to let stories or characters hold on to their mystery when it serves them.”
|photo © Beowulf Sheehan|
Congratulations to Ling Ma and to Farrar, Straus and Giroux!
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
The Story Prize event is just a week away. Although we're having a private award night this year, we're going to live-stream it on YouTube. Here's the link.
What you'll see and hear is the three finalists for The Story Prize for books published in 2022—Andrea Barrett for Natural History (W.W. Norton), Ling Ma for Bliss Montage (FSG), and Morgan Talty for Night of the Living Rez (Tin House)—read from and discuss their short story collections before we announce the 19th winner of The Story Prize and present that writer with an engraved silver bowl and the top prize of $20,000. The other two finalists will each take home $5,000.
|Finalists Andrea Barrett, Ling Ma, and MorganTalty|