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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 20, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    Ron Rash wins Frank O’Connor prize

    Laurence Mackin

    We’re very late off the hoof with this, and no doubt the news may have trickled through to you via other forms, but Ron Rash has won the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, and with it, the very tidy sum of €35,000.

    Rash’s collection, Burning Bright, was selected from a shortlist of five other authors to win the world’s largest prize for the short-story form. The other writers to make it on to the short list were: Robin Black for If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This; Belle Boggs for Mattaponi Queen; TC Boyle for Wild Child; David Constantine for The Shieling; and Laura van den Berg for What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us. Although he made it on to the shortlists, Boyle was not eligible for the prize, as he couldn’t be present at the ceremony in Cork last night, which is one of the conditions of the competition.

    Rash’s win has been warmly received, and while there’s no doubt it was a strong shortlist, what is perhaps surprising is just how many newcomers are on the list. Boyle and Constantine are fairly familiar names, and Robin Black was interviewed in this paper recently. However, Boggs’s book is her first, and van den Berg’s name will be a new one for most readers. Plenty more books, then, to dive into – I’ll be starting with Ron Rash’s book, which you can read excerpts from here. Yes, we might be late on this blog, but when we do arrive, we come bearing gifts.

    • The best winner yet. A fantastic collection. The settings, as in Proulx’s work, are characters in themselves. The writing fresh and immediate. Frank O’Connor would have been proud.

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