The Story Prize announces its 2010 finalists


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A MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ fellow, an award-winning short-story writer and a debut novelist are the finalists for the 2010 Story Prize, it was announced Monday. The Story Prize provides a $20,000 award to the author of a collection of short fiction, with $5,000 each to its runners-up.

The 2010 Story Prize finalists are:

Yiyun Li, for her collection ‘Gold Boy, Emerald Girl.’ Li, a native of China who teaches at UC Davis, was named a MacArthur fellow in 2010. Anthony Doerr, for his collection ‘Memory Wall.’ Doerr’s many honors include three O. Henry Prizes and two Pushcart Prizes for his short fiction. Suzanne Rivecca, for her collection ‘Death Is Not an Option.’ Rivecca, a former Stanford Stegner fellow, has been anthologized in ‘Best New American Voices’; this is her debut collection of short stories.


In ‘Gold Boy, Emerald Girl,’ our reviewer writes, the stories ‘are seething with willfulness, resistance and exhaustion.’ Doerr’s writing in ‘Memory Wall’ was characterized by our reviewer as ‘work that is open-ended yet nuanced, avoiding false connections or epiphanies.’ Rivecca’s work, she told the blog Largehearted Boy, is about ‘victims and saviors, the unsaved and the unsaveable, and the tendency to hide, from oneself and others, behind the protective coloration of those roles.’

Now in its seventh year, the Story Prize strives to draw attention to collections of short fiction. In 2010, 85 story collections were submitted for consideration.

Story Prize founder Julie Lindsey and Director Larry Dark selected the finalists; three judges will select the Story Prize winner, who will be announced at a ceremony in March. This year’s judges are Granta editor John Freeman, bookstore buyer Marie du Vaure and National Book Award finalist Jayne Anne Phillips.

The previous winners of the Story Prize include Edwidge Danticat’s ‘The Dew Breaker,’ Jim Shepard’s ‘Like You’d Understand, Anyway’ and ‘In Other Rooms, Other Wonders’ by Daniyal Mueenuddin.

Full disclosure: I was a judge of the 2009 Story Prize.

-- Carolyn Kellogg