Today they announced the shortlist for the 2013 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award:

  • Tea at the Midland and Other Stories, by David Constantine
  • Siege 13, by Tamas Dobozy
  • Black Vodka, by Deborah Levy
  • Black Dahlia & White Rose, by Joyce Carol Oates
  • We’re Flying, by Peter Stamm
  • Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins

The winner will be announced sometime during the first week of July.

On first glance, this is an exciting list. I have read some of Black Vodka and We’re Flying, and I’m enjoying both (Levy was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize last year and Stamm was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize this year), and Battleborn recently won The Short Story Prize (I still haven’t gotten my hands on a copy, but from what I’ve seen this is right up my alley). Siege 13 got a nice write-up in The New Yorker this week. That leaves Tea at the Midland and Black Dahlia & White Rose, both of which I know nothing about, though perhaps a few of the stories in the Joyce Carol Oates collection were originally published in The New Yorker, which means I have read a few.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Mookse and the Gripes on Patreon!
By |2013-05-31T13:57:47+00:00May 31st, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. David June 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I’m not sure this shortlist excites me, but it is certainly interesting.

    So far I’ve read two of the collections – ‘Tea at the Midland’ was beautifully written, but a mere four months after reading it I’m struggling to remember any of the stories. I admired the craft, but it largely left me cold.

    The other one I’ve read (just finished this morning in fact) is ‘Black Dahlia & White Rose’, which I ended up finding a bit uneven. The first six stories were brilliant vintage Oates, but then the last five I found really disappointing. One just meanders aimlessly, another two were too weird for my tastes (with characters variously transforming into sparrows and spotted hyenas) and the final prison-set pair just felt inconsequential and forgettable.
    Only one of the stories (‘I.D.’) has appeared in The New Yorker (a girl is taken out of class by two police officers to go and identify a body who may or may not be her mother). One story (‘The Good Samaritan’) was surprising for getting past both Oates’ editor at Ecco and the editor(s) of Harper’s (where it first appeared) in its current state – clearly at some point Oates changed her mind about the story’s setting: we are told in the first sentence by the 20 year old narrator that it is 1981, but then it’s suddenly 2001 with the narrator being born in 1981, then it’s 1981 again, like two drafts have been badly welded together – a shame as it is probably my favourite story in the book, becoming darker and creepier as it progresses.

    I have a copy of ‘Battleborn’ so I’ll try and get to that before the winner is announced. Of the nine collections from the longlist that I’d read I’m disappointed that Steven Schwartz’s ‘Little Raw Souls’ didn’t make the shortlist – easily the best collection I’ve read this year.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.