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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Frank O'Connor Longlist 2009

Hot on the heels of last week's Edge Hill Short Story Prize shortlist comes the list of short story collections longlisted for the 2009 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award - now renamed the The Cork City – Frank O’Connor Short Story Award. With a prize of €35,000 for the winning book, this is theworld's most lucrative award for a short story collection.

However, this is not all about how large the winner's cheque is. This year, the longlist has 57 short story collections - up from 38 last year - which means that publishers are definitely catching on to the prestige and exposure that comes with this award, where all eligible titles are longlisted. As I mentioned last week, this is a wonderful move on the part of the organisers, giving much-needed publicity to many, many books not published by mainstream publishers but by small presses without teams of publicists (including my own collection, The White Road and Other Stories). What is also wonderful is that "big" names are alongside newer writers, showcasing that the short story is not just the province of those who have yet to "graduate" to novels!

“We could have had another twenty entries but for many publishers missing the deadline," said declares Award administrator Patrick Cotter of the Munster Literature Centre in Cork. "We couldn’t bend the rules to allow late entries, there were simply too many titles already on the judges’ table this year. Next year we will have to consider a preliminary weeding-out before the publication of a longlist. But it is gratifying to see an explosion in short story publishing: encouraging short story publishing is the main raison d’etre of the award."

Here is the longlist, ordered by country, with links to those we have already reviewed:


15 American Authors:

Eleanor Bluestein, Tea and Other Ayama Na Tales, BkMk Press (University of

Missouri-Kansas City) review coming soon

Bonnie Jo Cambell, American Salvage,Wayne State University Press

Dennis Cooper, Ugly Man: Stories, Harper Perennial

David Eagleman, Sum, Pantheon Books (Random House)

Mary Gaitskill, Don’t Cry, Pantheon Books (Random House)

Lauren Groff, Delicate Edible Bird, Hyperion

Daniel A. Hoyt, Then We Saw The Flames, University of Massachusetts Press

Ian MacMillan, Our People, BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City)

James Mathews, Last Known Position, University of North Texas Press

Christopher Meeks, Months and Season, White Whisker Books

Lydia Peelle, Reasons for and Advantage of Breathing, Harper Perennial

Andrew Porter, The Theory of Light and Matter, University of Georgia Press

Glen Pourciau, Invite, University of Iowa Press

Midge Raymond, Forgetting English, Eastern Washington University Press review coming soon

Wells Tower, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, Farrar, Straus and Giroux


18 British Authors:

Anthony Cropper, Nature’s Magician, Route

Jane Feaver, Love Me Tender, Harvill Secker (The Random House Group)

Paul Flynn, Crossing the Border, CC Publishing

Tania Hershman, The White Road and Other Stories, Salt Publishing

Sue Hubbard, Rothko’s Red, Salt Publishing

Kazuo Ishiguro, Nocturnes, Faber and Faber Limited review coming soon

Sushma Joshi, The End of the World, FinePrint Books

Alex Keegan, Ballistics, Salt Publishing

Charles Lambert, The Scent of Cinnamon, Salt Publishing

James Lasdun, It’s Beginning to Hurt, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Tom Lee, Greenfly, Harvill Secker (The Random House Group)

Frederick Lightfoot, Fetish and Other Stories, Superscript

André Mangeot, A Little Javanese, Salt Publishing

Sean O’Brien, The Silence Room, Comma Press

John Saul, As Rivers Flow, Salt Publishing

Ali Smith, The First Person and Other Stories, Penguin Group Canada

Mark Illis, Tender, Salt Publishing

Simon Van Booy, Love Begins in Winter, Harper Perennial review coming soon


5 Canadian Authors:


Tricia Dower, Silent Girl, Innana Publications and Education Inc.

Hannah Holborn, Fierce, McClelland & Stewart

Pamela Stewart, Elysium, Anvil Press

Deborah Willis, Vanishing and Other Stories, Penguin Group Canada

Kuzhali Manickavel, Insects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings, Blaft Publications


1 Dutch Author:

Arnon Grunberg, Amuse-Bouche, Comma Press

1 Estonian Author:

Kristiina Ehin, A Priceless Nest, Oleander Press

1 German Author:

Maike Wetzel (Trans. Lyn Marven), Long Days, Comma Press

1 Icelandic Author:

Gyrơir Elíasson (Trans. Victoria Cribb), Stone Tree, Comma Press

2 Indian Authors:

Jahnavi Barua, Next Door, Penguin Books ( India )

Jasmine Anita Yvette D’Costa, Curry is Thicker Than Water, BookLand Press


4 Irish Authors:

Michael J. Farrell, Life in the Universe, The Stinging Fly Press

Robert Graham, The Only Living Boy, Salt Publishing

Alan McMonagle, Liar, Liar, Words on the Street

Philip Ó Ceallaigh, The Pleasant Light of Day, Penguin Ireland


1 Macedonian Author:

Kiril Bozhinov, Eclipses: Stories of Disappearances and Reappearance, Beyond Art Productions

1 Malaysian Author:

Shih-Li-Kow, Ripples and Other Short Stories, Silverfish Books

2 New Zealand Authors:

Jeanette Galpin, Aroha and the River, Maungatiro Press of Marton

Charlotte Grimshaw Singularity, Vintage

2 Nigerian Authors:

Sefi Atta, Lawless, Farafina Books

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck, Fourth Estate LTD

1 Spanish Author:

Empar Moliner (Trans. Peter Bush), I Love You When I’m Drunk, Comma Press

1 Ukrainian Author:

Sana Krasikov, One More Year, Portobello Books Ltd

1 Zimbabwean Author

Petina Gappah, An Elegy for Easterly, Faber and Faber

Congratulations to all these authors, and may this bring a much larger readership for short stories. The judges for the award are an American, an Irishman and a Pole: Lloren A. Foster, Milka Jankowska and Vincent McDonnell, who will be choosing a shortlist of 5 titles, to be announced in late June, and a winner in September.

For more on the award visit The Munster Literature Centre. Click here for last year's longlist.

13 comments:

Yael U said...

Where are the Israeli authors? :(

Tania Hershman said...

Well, I could have gone either way. But it's up to the publishers to submit their collections, so it appears no Israeli publishers did submit. Shame.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Wow, what a strong list.

I wish The White Road a light heart and a following wind on it's next journey!

Tania Hershman said...

Thanks, Vanessa, isn't it a list that just brings joy to your heart, seeing all those short story collections, as it brought joy seeing your Words from a Glass Bubble there last year!

SueG said...

An amazing list. It's great to see you name up there with others like "Ishy". Your work will be as feted as his in no time, I'm sure!

Steve Finbow said...

Dennis Cooper gets my vote... Then James Lasdun....

Tania Hershman said...

Thanks, sue!

Steve, great idea, we could hold a People's Vote - dear readers, let us know your favourites!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Congrats T. It is certainly an exciting list.

prachfilms said...

Sushma Joshi (End of The World) is a Nepali Author.

Tania Hershman said...

Hi Prachfilms,
thanks for your comment, but this was the list I received from the Munster Literature Centre, they assigned the authors to the various nationality groups.

Deborah P. said...

This is a strong list which makes it difficult to choose, and of course I've only read a fraction of these. But of those, I'd vote for David Eagleman's SUM, which is an unbelievably unique and and refreshing lightning bolt of fiction. I did some research on Wikipedia and discovered that not only is Eagleman a strikingly original fiction writer, he's also a world-famous neuroscientist.

Tania Hershman said...

Deborah, thank you so much for drawing my attention to SUM, I have a weakness for scientists who write fiction, might just have to buy the book!

viagra online said...

This is perfect I'd like some day getting an award like that because I know I'm a good writer, maybe I had been the winer of that.

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