The 2012 Finalists for The Story Prize Announced

The 2012 Finalists for The Story Prize Announced

The Story Prize honors as finalists for this year's award three outstanding short story collections chosen from 98 submissions representing 65 different publishers or imprints. The three finalists are:

Stay Awake by Dan Chaon (Ballantine Books)
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz (Riverhead Books)
Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins (Riverhead Books)

Stay Awake by Dan Chaon collects twelve haunting stories of loss, fear, and dislocation. Junot Díaz's This Is How You Lose Her is a precise, frank, and bruising collection of nine stories about love, family, and regret. The ten stories in Claire Vaye Watkins' Battleborn juxtapose the internal and external struggles of characters in the historical and contemporary West, against the backdrop of an often-unforgiving landscape.

The Story Prize was established in 2004 to honor short story collections, which other major book awards for fiction often overlook, and is underwritten by the Chisholm Foundation. This year, we are also adding a new $1,000 prize-The Story Prize Spotlight Award-which will go to Drifting House by Kris Lee (Viking).

The Story Prize's annual award event will take place at the New School's Tishman Auditorium in New York City at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13. That night, the three finalists will read selections from their work, after which Director Larry Dark will interview each writer on-stage. At the end of the event, Founder Julie Lindsey will announce the winner and present that author with $20,000 and an engraved silver bowl. The two runners-up will each receive $5,000. General admission tickets are $14, available online, by phone (212-229-5488), or at The New School box office the day of the event

Previous winners of The Story Prize have been The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat, The Hill Road by Patrick O'Keeffe, The Stories of Mary Gordon by Mary Gordon, Like You'd Understand, Anyway by Jim Shepard, Our Story Begins by Tobias Wolff, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniel Mueenuddin, Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr, and, most recently, We Others by Steven Millhauser.

Dan Chaon is the author of Stay Awake, Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Chaon's fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and is the author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; as well as This is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist; and the critically acclaimed Drown. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, and numerous Best American Short Stories anthologies. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award among other accolades. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Claire Vaye Watkins was born and raised in the Mojave Desert. Her collection of short stories, Battleborn, won a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame and earned Watkins inclusion on the National Book Foundation's list of "5 Under 35." A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, She earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011, Best of the Southwest 2013, and elsewhere. An assistant professor at Bucknell University, Watkins is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a non-profit creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.

Founder Julie Lindsey and Director Larry Dark selected the finalists for The Story Prize. Three independent judges will determine the winner. This year's judges are critic and author Jane Ciabattari, celebrated author and past Story Prize finalist Yiyun Li, and bookseller Sarah McNally of McNally Jackson Books in New York City.

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