The Story Prize — in its sixth year of honoring short story collections — just announced its 2009 finalists for the annual book award for short fiction. All three finalists are debut collections.
The finalists (drum roll, please):
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin
These eight connected stories set in southern Pakistan bring to life the world of an aging feudal landlord, his Western educated daughters, desperate and conniving servants, farm workers, corrupt judges, politicians, aristocrats, and foreigners. The author is a graduate from Yale Law School — this is definitely a book I need to read!
Drift by Victoria Patterson
The wealthy enclave of Newport Beach, California, is the setting for thirteen stories, told with grace and compassion, that focus on characters who live on the margins, including waiters, waitresses, confused children of divorce, and a beautiful, brain-damaged skateboarder.
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower
Ambivalence, wrong-thinking, and confusion are the engines that drive these nine insightful, witty stories that culminate in a tale about marauding Vikings who turn out to be just like the misguided, contemporary American characters in the book. I have read Wells’ collection, and I adore his stories.
You can read more about the Story Prize and previous winners here. Winners will be announced on March 3.