Paper Cuts posted this about Joe Meno and the Story Prize.
On Friday, March 6th, we welcomed Andrew Porter all the way from San Antonio for a reading at Pianos. Andrew read from his story “Azul” (originally published as One Story Issue # 74), which is part of his Flannery O’Connor Award-winning collection The Theory of Light and Matter. Knopf recently bought the paperback rights as well as his novel-in-progress (a two-book deal!) so congratulations are in order. If you missed Andrew’s reading, listen here.
The Story Prize ceremony was held last night at The New School. Fans of the short story were treated to readings by and interviews with the three finalists: Jhumpa Lahiri (for Unaccustomed Earth), Joe Meno (for Demons in the Spring), and Tobias Wolff (for Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories). Jhumpa Lahiri read from the exquisite “Heaven-Hell,” Joe Meno from the whimsical “Frances the Ghost,” and the legendary Tobias Wolff from his famous story “Bullet in the Brain”.
In the interviews with Story Prize Director Larry Dark on stage last night, Lahiri mentioned her love for the stories of the incomparable Mavis Gallant and noted that she set out to try shifts in point-of-view within single stories in this collection because she loves the way Gallant does that in her work. Joe Meno made an impassioned case for “books being books”. His beautifully designed collection, which includes illustrations from various artists in Chicago, is what he called an “anti-Kindle” book. Reading it is such a tactile experience that it reminds you that books are artifacts (not just texts that can be read on screen). And Wolff compared perfect short stories to snowflakes. It was an apt simile: the best stories do crystallize in their own unique form.
After the readings and interviews, Julie Lindsey (founder of the Story Prize) announced the winner. A gracious Tobias Wolff took home the prize ($20,000 and an engraved silver bowl) and the other two finalists pocketed $5000 each. (It’s always good to see story writers rewarded for their hard, underappreciated work.) Our own Hannah Tinti was one of the three judges this year. Judging this contest was no easy task, of course, but you, dear readers, are the real winners because you get to enjoy the collections. Buy all three. And while you’re at it, buy the ones on the short list too. They are all filled with snowflakes.
One Story Editor Hannah Tinti with Tobias Wolff
One Story shares the sadness of readers everywhere.
Today is the official launch of The Rumpus, a new online magazine edited by Stephen Elliott. The site features original and aggregated content (about books, music, movies, art, sex and politics–everything that matters, really) and will be updated 10-15 times a day. One Story author Andrew Foster Altschul is the Books Editor.
On Friday, January 9th, an enormous crowd braved the cold to come hear Allison Amend read from her story collection, Things That Pass for Love. Allison knows how to please an audience: her reading, an excerpt from the story called “The People You Know Best ” featured dogs, sex, and cyber erotica. And it was funny. Listen here if you missed it. We are also happy to report that Allison just sold the manuscript for her first novel, Stations West, inspired by the story of the same name that was published as One Story Issue #13. We look forward to welcoming her back to the One Story reading series when the book comes out.Marco Guglielmino and Allison AmendThings That Pass for LoveThe crowd at Pianos, warmed by literature
The latest Pushcart Prize anthology is in stores now and features two stories that we are especially excited about: “Reasons For and Advantages of Breathing” by Lydia Peelle (originally published as One Story issue #87) and “North Of” by One Story Assistant Editor Marie Bertino (originally published in Mississippi Review.) Marie works tirelessly behind the scenes at One Story, so we’re delighted to see her in the spotlight for a change. Congratulations, Lydia and Marie!
On Friday, December 5th, One Story author and all around nice person Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum joined us at Pianos to read from her beautiful, just-released story collection, Swimming with Strangers. Ron Carlson says: “”There is a bittersweet and real pressure at the outset of each of these stories, and we read thinking it will ease, but it will not. Kirsten Lunstrum writes well about longing and the aching distance between hearts, which at times is so close yet still unbridged. This is a terrific book of engaging fiction about real people.” (This book would make a great gift for all the readers on your list.) We were thrilled to see some new One Story subscribers at the reading and hope to see more of you in January.