The shortlist for the 2012 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award has been announced, revealing an eclectic final six, with collections from eminent authors around the world.
American, Lucia Perillo’s debut work of fiction goes head-to-head with collections from more established short story writers such as Israeli, Etgar Keret and New Zealander, Fiona Kidman. Also making the shortlist is this year’s winner of the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, Kevin Barry.
The shortlist in full, which has been selected from a judging panel comprised of Hiberno-British poet James Harpur, Irish novelist Mary Leland, literary festival programmer Ann Luttrel, and non-voting chair and award director, poet Patrick Cotter, is as follows (links lead to publisher pages):
The overall winner of this year’s 8th edition of the Award will be announced on 5 July, and will be presented with the winning cheque for €25,000, at the Cork International Short Story festival in September. For further details, including bios of all authors, please visit the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award website.
Rob’s Reaction: Once again the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award has given us a strong shortlist that contains few surprises. While I’ve read only one of the shortlisted collections in its entirety (Keven Barry’s Dark Lies the Island. See my review HERE), I’ve sampled the stories from two others (Etgar Keret’s Suddenly a Knock on the Door and Nathan Englander’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank) and consider them worthy of shortlist inclusion. After what I’ve just said I must admit that I am a little surprised that Don Delillo didn’t make the shortlist with his much lauded The Angel Esmeralda (Picador) collection (it was shortlisted in both this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and The Story Prize), and given the breathtaking beauty of the prose in both collections, I’m a little saddened that neither A. J. Ashworth’s Somewhere Else, or Even Here (Salt Publishing) or Lucy Wood’s Diving Belles (Bloomsbury) made the cut. Still, there can only be six and it would appear, without me having as much as looked at three of the collections in the shortlist, that the judges have chosen wisely.
Of course, it goes without saying that I’m delighted that Kevin Barry has made the shortlist with his Dark Lies the Island collection. When I’d originally compiled my longlist post for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, Barry’s collection wasn’t on it (a clerical error on the Award website?), so it came as a pleasant surprise to me to discover that he had made the shortlist.
With Barry having already taken this year’s Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award for one of the stories in this collection (Beer Trip to Llandudno), one can only hope that he doubles his luck this year and takes the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award too, because heaven only knows he deserves it. Putting my obvious bias to one side , I wish all six finalists in this year’s Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award the very best of luck.