The finalists for the fourth annual Story Prize, a $20,000 award given for the year's best short fiction, were announced yesterday. They are Tessa Hadley for Sunstroke and Other Stories (Picador), Vincent Lam for Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures (Weinsten Books), and Jim Shepard for Like You'd Understand Anyway (Knopf). The judges are fiction writer and Newsweek critic David Gates, librarian Patricia Groh, and Paris Review poetry editor Meghan O'Rourke. The winner will be announced at a ceremony on February 27 at the New School's Tishman Auditorium in New York City. Two runners-up will each receive $5,000.
Hadley is the author of three novels, all published by Henry Holt: The Master Bedroom (2007), Everything Will Be All Right (2003), and Accidents in the Home (2002). She lives in Cardiff, Wales, and teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University, in Bath, England.
Lam is an emergency room technician in Toronto. Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures is his first book.
Shepard is the author of six novels, including Project X (Knopf, 2004), Nosferatu (Knopf, 1998), Kiss of the Wolf (Harcourt, 1994), and Lights Out in the Reptile House (Norton, 1990), and two previous collections of stories, Love and Hydrogen (Vintage, 2004) and Batting Against Castro (Random House, 1996). He teaches at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Previous winners of the Story Prize are Edwidge Danticat for The Dew Breaker (Knopf, 2004), Patrick O'Keeffe for The Hill Road (Viking, 2005), and Mary Gordon for The Stories of Mary Gordon (Pantheon Books, 2006).
The annual prize was launched in 2004 by Julie Lindsey and Larry Dark, former O. Henry Prize Stories series editor, in an effort to promote a genre that they believe is underrepresented by the other major book awards.