Via multiple people on Twitter, it’s a steel cage match:
Now in its fifth year, The Story Prize, an annual award for books of short fiction, is pleased to honor three outstanding short story collections chosen from an exceptional and varied group published in 2008. The three finalists are:
- Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Demons in the Spring by Joe Meno
- Our Story Begins by Tobias Wolff
These three books were selected from among 73 story collections published by 56 different publishers or imprints. Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best-Seller List and was the unanimous choice for Ireland’s Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Meno’s Demons in the Spring was published by small press publisher Akashic Books in a limited edition with original illustrations by 20 artists from the fine art, graphic, and comic book worlds—and part of the proceeds benefit 826Chicago, a drop-in tutoring center. Wolff’s Our Story Begins includes 16 stories from three previous collections and adds ten new stories to the mix, representing a substantial selection of accomplished work.
I’ve got Meno’s The Great Perhaps in the TBR queue at home; right now, my wife is reading it, with mixed reviews. I found the Lahiri disappointing. My money’s on Wolff.