Irish writer Danielle McLaughlin has won the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award with her story "A Partial List of the Saved".
McLaughlin was awarded the £30,000 prize for her “fascinating portrayal of cowardice and courage”. Inspired by a real-life situation, the story explores divorce and the interwoven family relationships it affects.
McLaughlin, who has previously won the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition, and won the Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction in March this year. Her debut novel, A Retrospective, will be published in January 2021 by John Murray.
Judge and award-winning novelist and short story writer Kit de Waal said: “This deceptively simple story based around a man’s visit to his elderly father is pitch perfect. By turns funny, tragic and sad - circling and re-circling complicated family and sexual relationships - it ends, fittingly, without any clear answers. It is a brave writer that can take their foot off the pedal at just the right moment. It’s a delight to read such a well-wrought story - all the judges were unanimous in our admiration for Danielle McLaughlin. We are sure she has a long and bright future as a fiction writer ahead of her.”
Literary editor of the Sunday Times and fellow judge Andrew Holgate added: “Danielle McLaughlin hasn't exactly come from nowhere - the £30,000 she receives for winning the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award can be added to the $165,000 she earned this March for winning the Windham-Campbell prize - but, following on from Sally Rooney, who received her very first recognition by being shortlisted here, McLaughlin shows Ireland's continuing ability to produce fresh, vibrant and exciting new voices, and our award's continuing ability to discover and showcase the very best new talent. After Courtney Zoffness's triumph last year, we're over the moon to have found another such controlled and memorable literary voice.”
McLaughlin’s story, claimed victory over those by former winner Kevin Barry, Emma Cline, Paul Dalla Rosa, Joe Dunthorne and Louise Kennedy, who won £1,000 each at the award ceremony at the News Building in London tonight (12th September).
County-Cork born McLaughlin is the second Irish writer to win the award and follows in the footsteps of 2012 winner Barry and 2017 shortlistee Sally Rooney.
As sponsor of the 2019 Award, Audible, will produce an audio anthology of the shortlisted stories, to be released on Friday 13th September. This is the first time that the shortlist will be available as a collection in audio format.
Judges De Waal and Holgate were joined on the panel by author, journalist and commentator Sarah Churchwell; short story writer and novelist Carys Davies; acclaimed poet and novelist Blake Morrison to consider a record 950 entries as the award marks its tenth year.
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