Daily Bookshot: That a Booy!

That a Booy!, originally uploaded by Robert Burdock.

OK so I know this may be a rather rudimentary tribute, but it’s a tribute all the same. This is Love Begins in Winter (Harper Perennial), the book that won Simon Van Booy the Frank O’ Connor Short Story Award on Sunday Night (more details).

The book is a collection of five stories (two of which you can read in full for FREE at Fifty-Two Stories – The Missing Statues and Tiger, Tiger), and all share a common theme; a theme which is best described from a read of the cover blurb:

On the verge of giving up – anchored to dream that never come true and to people who have long since disappeared from their lives – Van Booy’s characters walk the streets of these stark and beautiful stories until chance meetings with strangers force them to face responsibility for lives they thought had continued on without them.

Although I’ve still to read this collection in it’s entirety I have read the two aforementioned story offerings at Fifty-Two Stories, and I can tell you that Van Booy’s prose is a true beauty to behold. And if his winning of this year’s Frank O’ Connor Short Story Award doesn’t convince you to go and pick up a copy of Love Begins in Winter yourself, then I’m sure this superbly enthusiastic endorsement from fellow writer Binnie Kirshenbaum will:

The stories of Love Begins in Winter are stylistically brilliant and emotionally beautiful. I found myself gasping, literally gasping, at surprises so perfectly attuned as to be inevitable. Simon Van Booy is an extraordinary writer, and this is a book to be read and reread again and again.

*Note: As stated the edition shown in this shot is the US edition from Harper Perennial. Love Begins in Winter is published in the UK by Beautiful Books [ISBN: 9781905636495], and it has a different, and dare I say it better, cover, showing a close up of the scroll and pegs of a cello (a homage to the collection’s titular story)

Harper Perennial | 12 May 2009 | $13.99 | PAPERBACK | 256 PP | ISBN: 9780061661471

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. Simon won the Franklin O’Connor? I didn’t know! Congrats to Simon (!!!!) and what a great tribute. I do like that British version of the cover but the American version is lovely, too. I’ve read this collection twice and I’m sure I’ll read it a thousand more times. Simon’s writing is breathtaking.

  2. Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

    Thank you for the kind words Nancy, but in retrospect I wish I’d taken a bit more time and thought over this pic. It’s simplistic and boring – nothing like Simon’s writing, which I can tell from your glowing testament is soemthing you know fine well.

  3. I think you did just fine. Last night, I added a blurb congratulating Simon at the end of a book review post. I just wanted to write a bit as soon as possible, so my short mention was a little on the pathetic side. There’s something to be said for a timely post, though, don’t you think? What would you different if you were to pose the book right now? Just curious. 🙂

  4. Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

    Nancy – Ideally I position it on a classic plaster plinth, with a red velvet background, and a spotlight picking out the main subject. Is that too flamboyant Nancy? For Simon, probably not 🙂

  5. He’s somewhat formal and classy, so nope . . . I wouldn’t use the word “flamboyant” to describe that kind of a setting for Simon’s book. But, he’s also quite down-to-earth and I don’t think he would object in the slightest. In fact, I think he would thank you for taking the time to do anything at all. Simon is cool. 🙂