Irish writer Lisa McInerney, winner of last year's Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Desmond Elliott Prize, has been longlisted for the £30,000 2017 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.
McInerney, debut author of The Glorious Heresies (John Murray) - since optioned by Fifty Fathoms with McInerney attached to write - was longlisted for her short story "Navigation". On receiving the news she said via Twitter: "I am so pleased about this I'm levitating."
McInerney is one of four Irish writers to be in the running for the award alongside Sally Rooney - whose debut novel Conversations with Friends publishes with Faber this year - Christine Dwyer Hickey and Ethel Rohan, who were nominated for their respective short stories "Mr Salary", "Back to Bones" and "The Sun".
Following last year's first British winner of the prize, only two Brits made the 14-strong longlist this year: Daisy Johnson for "Blood Rites" and Richard Lambert for "The Hazel Twig and Olive Tree".
The longlist is completed by seven American writers, including Celeste Ng whose second novel Little Fires Everywhere will be published by Little Brown in 2017, Elizabeth McCracken, the only previously longlisted author, and Smith Henderson, a screenwriter and author whose debut novel Fourth of July Creek (Cornerstone) published in 2014. Also longlisted is commissioning editor of Elle India, Anjali Joseph; Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This (Two Roads); adjunct professor at Columbia University, Kathleen Alcott; and PEN USA Award-winner Victor Lodato, whose new novel Edgar and Lucy (Macmillan) publishes this year.
With themes of short stories ranging from Arizona to Dublin, three carnivorous sisters in East Anglia to a one-night stand in Mumbai, the judges said the longlist exemplified "exceptional diversity".
The judging panel comprises Man Booker Prize-winning author and short story writer Anne Enright, broadcaster and author Mark Lawson, authors Neel Mukherjee and Rose Tremain, and Andrew Holgate, literary editor of The Sunday Times.
Tremain said: “We've arrived at a longlist of exceptional diversity, with known names competing, excitingly, against unknown. In a time when there is renewed interest in the short story, we think our list offers some highly original experiments in this most demanding of literary forms.”
Holgate added: “The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award has had some remarkably high-profile winners and every year receives entries from some of the world’s finest writers. One of its great strengths, though - partly due to the blind reading done by the judges - is its ability to unearth fresh, undiscovered talent. Nowhere more so than this year, when the longlist is full of new younger writers and international names being given their first significant spotlight in the UK. We’re absolutely thrilled with this list, and excited by the quality and originality it demonstrates.”
The shortlist, qualifiying authors for which will receive £1,000 each, will be announced in The Sunday Times on Sunday 19th March. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner at Stationers’ Hall in London on Thursday 27th April. Readers can read extracts from the longlist at the prize’s website: www.shortstoryaward.co.uk.
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