The six-strong shortlist for this year’s £30,000 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award includes Colum McCann and British writer Jonathan Tel, winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
The six shortlisted stories are: "The Dacha" by US writer Alix Christie, "The News of Her Death" by Zimbabwe’s Petina Gappah, "Unbershert" by Edith Pearlman, also from the US, "What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?" by Irish writer Colum McCann, "The Phosphoresence" by Canadian Nicholas Ruddock, and "The Human Phonograph" by Jonathan Tel.
Andrew Holgate, judge and the literary editor of the Sunday Times, said: “What impressed me most about this year's shortlist is the sheer variety of form and subject matter, from Colum McCann's gripping piece of meta-fiction to the dreamlike qualities of Nicholas Ruddock's 'The Phosphorescence' and the nostalgia of Edith Pearlman's 'Unbeschert'. Interwar New York, a hair stylist in Africa, a dacha near East Berlin and a research station in China's nuclear weapons programme - quite some breadth, in a collection of exceptionally accomplished stories. Picking a winner will be immensely difficult.”
The shortlisted stories can be read online on the prize’s website.
Author Mark Haddon, who was also a judge this year, added: “‘Judging literary prizes can be a bruising experience but this was a shockingly uncontentious and wholly enjoyable experience. I think we could all have happily extended the process to a few more meetings in order to sit around and talk about stories.”
The winner, who will receive a prize of £30,000, will be announced at a dinner in London on 22nd April. The five other shortlisted writers will each receive £1,000.
The prize, founded in 2010, is for stories of 6,000 words or fewer, published in English in the UK and Ireland and by fiction authors from anywhere in the world. Last year, the award was given to Chinese writer Yiyun Li for her story "A Sheltered Woman".
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