Donal Ryan ‘blown away’ by winner of this year’s €3,000 Moth short story prize

Texan author Marc Phillips ‘walked away from writing to make the mistakes necessary for new stories’

Judge Donal Ryan, right, said of winner Marc Phillips: “This is vibrant, tough, fearless, virtuosic writing. It blew me away ... Mary Costello says that any short story could be a novel and vice versa; this story has already taken the form and space of a novel in my memory”

Judge Donal Ryan, right, said of winner Marc Phillips: “This is vibrant, tough, fearless, virtuosic writing. It blew me away ... Mary Costello says that any short story could be a novel and vice versa; this story has already taken the form and space of a novel in my memory”

Marc Phillips’ story Pyjama Squid was the undoubted winner of this year’s Moth Short Story Prize, according to the judge Donal Ryan. “This is vibrant, tough, fearless, virtuosic writing,” he said. “It blew me away ... Mary Costello says that any short story could be a novel and vice versa; this story has already taken the form and space of a novel in my memory – so much happens, there’s so much to think about, and so much is revealed by these laconic characters in the spaces between the things they say.”

Phillips, who was born in Texas, is the author of the novel, The Legend of Sander Grant, which is, according to one reviewer, “reminiscent of John Irving’s fiction, with its depiction of an America that is strange but affable”. He has won many awards for his short fiction, including the Raymond Carver Editor’s Choice and USA Today’s Notable Writer of the Year Award. “I walked away from writing,” Phillips said, “to make the mistakes necessary for new stories.” He is now walking away with the €3,000 prize.

Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
only €1 first month

Insightful opinion is just a away.