Saturday, 9 July 2011


Author Edna O'Brien - shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor Award 2011

News just in from the Munster Literature Centre - the 2011 Frank O'Connor Award shortlist has been announced. Two Irish writers, Edna O'Brien (see my review of her collection here) and Colm Tóibín have made the list as well as former winner Yiyun Li.

Women writers dominate the  shortlist for what is the world's largest short story award, (€35,000). There are two young debutantes, Canadian Alexander MacLeod and American Suzanne Rivecca. American novelist Valerie Trueblood is shortlisted with her first short story collection. So the six shortlisted books are:

1)      Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li (Beijing-born, American Resident)

2)      Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod (Canadian debutante)

3)      Saints and Sinners by Edna O'Brien (Irish) 
4)      Death is Not an Option by Suzanne Rivecca (American Debutante) 

5)      The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín (Irish)
6)      Marry or Burn by Valerie Trueblood (American)

It is the first year two Irish authors have been shortlisted for this, the world's largest and most prestigious award for the Short Story. Established in 2005 the award is in the gift of the Munster Literature Centre and funded by Cork City Council. It is awarded for what is judged to be the best original short story collection published in English between July 1st 2010 and June 30th 2011.

The award will be presented at the culmination of the Cork International Short Story Festival on Sunday September 18th. 

Previous winners have included Haruki Murakami, Jhumpa Lahiri and Simon Van Booy. 

The 2011 jury consists of Alannah Hopkin, Irish novelist and short story writer; Chris Power, music and book critic for the Guardian, BBC and London Times; and Thomas McCarthy, Irish poet, novelist and librarian.

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