Sunday, May 04, 2008

Balancing on the Edge of the World on Frank O'Connor Longlist

Well, along with 38 other short story collections, including 7 wonderful others from my fabulous publisher Salt. I'm always going on, on my other blog, about the invidious aspect of literary prizes, and the way that choosing some books over others for long lists and short lists inevitably bestows negative associations on the books omitted. But this international prize, The Frank O'Connor Short Story Award, was set up specifically to draw attention to the short story and to publicize collections which have appeared within the year, and, as a function of this, the long list is deliberately inclusive.

This list is a thermometer showing the robust health of the re-emerging short story, a map of its geographical growth and an indication of the areas of publishing in which it is thriving. As last year, it shows that it is within independent publishing that the short story is thriving, and this year that Britain is now the great home of the short story. There are 8 collections here from the US, 5 from Ireland, 4 each from Australia and New Zealand, 1 each from Singapore, Taiwan and Nigeria and a whopping 14 from Britain, including 8 from Salt, who are thus announced as the Biggest Champions of the Short Story in the World!!!

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