Thursday, June 19, 2008

Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

The announcement of the longlist of authors for this year’s Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the world’s richest prize for a short story collection, features one of the strongest Irish representations to date with 2007 Booker award winner Anne Enright featuring alongside 1993 Booker winner Roddy Doyle, as well as 2003 Booker longlist nominee Gerard Donovan.

Jhumpa Lahiri's latest collection, Unaccustomed Earth, recently topped the US book charts and has been immediately pegged as the frontrunner. But the prize for the year's best short story collection in English has a record of rewarding new talent over established names - so Mary Rochford's self-published volume, Gilded Shadows should not be written off too quickly.

With an unprecedented 39 names on the longlist, featuring writers from all continents, it would appear the FOC International Short Story Award’s role in attempting to revive the short story format - which had come to be seen as an ignored genre - is paying off. There are five Irish authors; 14 British authors; four Australian authors; four New Zealand authors; eight US authors; and one each from Canada, Taiwan, Singapore and Nigeria.

The longlist in full is available here

The winner will be declared at the closing event of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork, Ireland on Sunday September 21st.

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