other stories 2004
LINKED SHORT STORIES MAKE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS
Joan Silber's Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories and Kate Walbert's Our Kind: A Novel in Stories were named finalists in the fiction category for the 2004 National Book Awards. Silber's book features stories in the first-person narrative that are linked in that a minor element in one story becomes a major element in another. Walbert's book interlinks narratives of ten country-club housewives who came of age in the 1950s. There were five fiction finalists in all, all female writers living in New York City. The winner, Lily Tuck for the novel The News from Paraguay, was announced on November 17, 2004 in New York City and received $10,000 plus a bronze statue; each finalist received a bronze medal and a $1,000 cash award.
ALICE MUNRO WINS CANADA'S GILLER PRIZE FOR FICTION
For the second time, Alice Munro has won Canada's largest award for fiction - the Giller Prize - for her short story collection Runaway: Stories, published by McClelland & Stewart in Canada (Knopf in the USA). The prize was announced in Toronto on November 11, 2004, and the 73-year-old Munro, a prolific short story writer, received $25,000 Canadian ($21,000 US). Munro previously won the award in 1998 for her collection entitled "The Love of a Good Woman." The Giller Prize, an annual award in honor of journalist Doris Giller, was established in 1994.
SHORT STORY WRITERS AMONG WHITING WRITERS' AWARD RECIPIENTS
Of the 10 writers announced on October 28, 2004 as winners of the Whiting Writers' Awards given for "emerging writers of exceptional talent and promise," three were named in the category of fiction, two of whom are short story writers: Daniel Alarcon and Victor LaValle. Alarcon is the author of a forthcoming collection of stories, War by Candlelight (Harper Collins, April 2005), while LaValle is the author of the collection Slapboxing with Jesus (Vintage, 1999) and a novel, The Ecstatic (Crown, 2002). The awards, which are $35,000 each, totaling $350,000, have been given annually since 1985 by the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation with candidates proposed by nominators from across the country. Last year's winners included short story writers Courtney Angela Brkic, Ann Pancake, Lewis Robinson, and Jess Row, while previous recipients have included Emily Carter, Jonathan Franzen, Matthew Klam, John McManus, and Colson Whitehead. Please visit the Whiting Foundation for more information.
ANXIETY-RIDDEN SHORT STORIES
In the article "Anxiety Attacks" for The New York Times Book Review September 5, 2004 publication, Jeff Turrentine draws on five recent short fiction titles to discuss a state of anxiety in the post-9/11 era: The Secret Goldfish by David Means, Unkempt by Courtney Eldridge, When the Nines Roll Over by David Benioff, Field Study by Rachel Seiffert, and Rear View by Pete Duval.
BLACKBOOK MAG HIGHLIGHTS MICRO FICTION
The Fall 2004 No. 34 BlackBook, a "progressive culture" magazine, features original fiction in six words or less from 25 established writers, including John Updike, Rick Moody, Mary Gaitskill, Pinckney Benedict, and AM Homes. BlackBook deems this micro fiction the "Hemingway Challenge," in homage to Ernest Hemingway and his answer to a challenge to write a story in six words: "For sale: baby shoes, never used." For readers inspired by the Hemingway of old and the Hemingways of new; the "Hemingway Challenge" is also a contest; 10 winners to be published in a forthcoming BlackBook.
THE NEW YORK TIMES EXPOUNDS ON THE STATE OF THE SHORT STORY
Charles McGrath in "The Short Story Shakes Itself Out of Academe," published August 25, 2004 in The New York Times, uses a review of The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories -- a recently released anthology edited by Ben Marcus -- as a springboard to expound on his take of the current state of the short story.
EGGERS PENS SHORT SHORTS FOR UK NEWSPAPER
Since March 2004, Dave Eggers, founder of McSweeney's and author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, has been writing stories in the short short form for the weekend magazine of a United Kingdom's daily newspaper, The Guardian. Some 17 stories are in print at Guardian Unlimited, the online presence of the paper, the most recent being "Gretchen the Squid," posted July 31, 2004. There is also commentary by Eggers on the short short whereby he cites Lydia Davis as his inspiration for the form.
STAGE PRODUCTION OF MURAKAMI STORIES TOURS
"The Elephant Vanishes," a stage production of three short stories adapted from a collection of the same name by Haruki Murakami, made its North American premiere in New York City at the Lincoln Center Festival 2004 on July 21st for a five-day run at the New York State Theater. Directed by Simon McBurney, "The Elephant Vanishes" is co-produced by Complicite, the Setagaya Public Theatre, Tokyo, and BITE:03 Barbican, London. The show's tour will continue to London (Sep. 2-25), Paris (Oct. 1-9), and Michigan (Oct. 20-23.). Random House UK is sponsoring a contest that will award 6 pairs of tickets for the London run at the Barbican Theatre, while the Barbican Theatre is sponsoring a contest that will award six complete sets of Murakami's 10 vintage paperback books. Murakami, a best-selling Japanese writer, is also author of After the Quake: Stories, and several novels. Incidentally (or not), Broadway.com reported that the director McBurney and Murakami share the same agent in New York.
THE NEW YORK TIMES HIGHLIGHTS SHORT STORIES
The June 27, 2004 cover story of The New York Times Book Review -- "The Allure of the Short Story" -- featured reviews of four story collections: Oblivion by David Foster Wallace, The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes, Sweet Land Stories by E.L. Doctorow, and Natasha and Other Stories by David Bezmozgis.
ADAPTATION OF SHEPARD STORIES AIRS ON TV
CBS aired "See You in My Dreams," based on autobiographical short stories from the books Cruising Paradise and Motel Chronicles by Pulitzer Prize-winner Sam Shepard, starring Aidan Quinn, Marcia Gay Harden and Will Estes on June 13, 2004.
As reported by the Associated Press May 14, 2004, author Shelley Jackson is giving a new spin to independent publishing -- her 2,095 word story, titled "Skin," is being published one word at a time, tattooed on various bodies across the world. "Skin" has also been covered in Newsweek, the New York Post, and the Village Voice. Visit The Columbia Daily Tribune to read the Associated Press article. For more info on becoming a participant, visit Jackson's Ineradicable Stain website.
PEN/FAULKNER AWARDED TO UPDIKE STORIES
The Early Stories by John Updike (Knopf, Oct. 2003) was announced on March 29th as the winner of the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The Updike collection, containing most of his stories from between 1953 and 1975, was chosen from among four other finalists by judges Ron Carlson, Chitra Divakaruni and Elizabeth Strout. The short story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer (Riverhead, Mar. 2003) was also among the finalists. The 72-year-old Updike receives $15,000 for the award. This marks the fifth collection of short stories to receive the PEN/Faulkner since its inception in 1981.
JULIE ORRINGER PLACES THIRD IN BARNES & NOBLE AWARDS
Julie Orringer, author of the debut story collection How to Breathe Underwater: Stories (Henry Holt, Sep. 2003) was announced by bookseller Barnes & Noble on March 3, 2004 as third place winner in the fiction category of the 2003 Discover Great New Writers Awards. She received $1,000. The awards honor the best works featured in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program during the previous calendar year. The fiction jurors were Edwidge Danticat, Canadian novelist Kerri Sakamoto, and historical novelist Darin Strauss.
SHORT STORY WINS NEW PARIS REVIEW AWARD
The Paris Reviews new $5,000 Plimpton Prize for the best piece of fiction or poetry by a newcomer to appear in The Paris Review in a given year, was awarded to Yiyun Li for her story "Immortality," as announced in February 2004. The new prize is a continuation of the tradition of their Discovery Prize, and is in honor the publication's longtime editor, George Plimpton, who presided over the magazine for 50 years, until his death in September 2003. Funding is being sought to permanently endow the new prize. The $1,000 2003 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction for the best short story published in The Paris Review by a previously published writer went to Michael Chabon.