The BBC International Short Story Award 2012
Featuring the ten short-listed authors:
MIROSLAV PENKOV (WINNER)
HENRIETTA ROSE-INNES (RUNNER UP)
Also available for the Kindle
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2 Oct: Miroslav Penkov wins the BBC 2012 International Short Story Award
for 'East of the West'
Foreword by Clive Anderson
ISBN 1905583516 / 978-1905583515
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"I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter," quipped Blaise Pascal famously, "I didn’t have time to write you a short one."
Brevity may be the soul of wit, but as Clive Anderson argues in his introduction to this collection, it is also, very often, the hard-won soul of great literature. What remains unsaid – just as much as what is said – distinguishes a great story: whether it is through subtle gaps in a narrative or the intentional concealment of things.
Absence and disappearance provide recurring themes in the ten stories shortlisted for this year’s Award: the abandonment of family members – estranged wives and errant husbands; the loss of a childhood friend and computer games mentor; or the convenient vanishing of whatever we deem disposable – through a portable, pocket-sized black hole.
In 2012, to mark the London Olympics, the BBC has opened the Award up to English-speaking writers from around the world. The ten shortlisted stories assembled here – from as far afield as South Africa, North America, Australia, Ireland and the Balkans – show the extraordinary diversity and richness of the short story as a truly global form. This year’s judges included authors Anjali Joseph, Ross Raisin and Michèle Roberts, BBC Editor of Readings, Di Speirs, and the broadcaster and comedian Clive Anderson, who also chaired the panel.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
was born in Belfast in 1981 and lives in London. She read English at Queen’s College, Cambridge and is a graduate of Goldsmith’s MA in Creative & Life Writing. She has published two novels, Where They Were Missed
(2006) and The Meeting Point
(2011), and her third, All the Beggars Riding
, will be published in January 2013. The Meeting Point
featured on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and was awarded the 2011 Dylan Thomas Prize.
She is also a playwright whose stage plays (Leaves
, Notes to Future Self
) and radio dramas (Girl from Mars
, Avenues of Eternal Peace
, Witch Week
) have won numerous awards including the George Divine Award and the Imison Award. In 2011, Lucy was awarded the prestigious Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for her body of work to date.
was born in London and grew up in Ireland. He now lives in Berlin. He won the BBC National Short Story Prize in 2007 with ‘The Orphan and the Mob’, which later became the prologue for Jude: Level 1
, a novel short-listed for the 2008 Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. Julian’s first novel, Juno and Juliet
, was published in 2001, followed by Jude in Ireland
in 2007. Jude in London
, his most recent novel, was published in 2011 and was short-listed for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. In 2010, Salmon Poetry released his first poetry collection, Free Sex Chocolate
Julian Gough has also written columns and opinion pieces for various newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, Prospect Magazine and A Public Space.
’s first novel, How the Light Gets In
(2003), was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her second, Carry me Down
(2006), won the Hawthornden and Encore Prizes in 2007 and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Her third novel, This is How
, was long-listed for both the Orange Prize and the International IMPAC Prize.
Her short fiction has been published frequently in Zoetrope: All-Story
, Blackbook Magazine
(USA) and Best Australian Short Stories
, whilst her journalism regularly features in publications including the London Review of Books
, Irish Independent
and the Guardian
. Before her first novel was published, she worked as a commercial lawyer for seven years and lectured in criminal law. She is currently a lecturer in Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester.
was born in Seoul, South Korea, and was raised in California and Washington. She moved to study in the United States and England. She was a finalist for Best New American Voices and received a special mention in the 2012 Pushcart Prize XXXVI. Krys is the author of the novel Drifting House
(2012) and her other work has appeared in the Kenyon Review
, Narrative Magazine
(New Voices), California Quarterly
, Asia Weekly
, the Guardian
, the New Statesman
, and Condé Nast Traveller
. She divides her time between South Korea and the United States.
is a novelist and a playwright and lives in London. She trained at the Dartington College of Arts and was a Fellow in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge from 1989 to1991. Her novels include Swimming Home
(2012), Beautiful Mutants
, Swallowing Geography
, The Unloved
and Billy and Girl
. She has also published several anthologies of short stories, including Ophelia and the Great Idea
and Pillow Talk in Europe and Other Places
Deborah has written for the Royal Shakespeare Company and her plays are performed all over the world. In 2001, she was awarded a Lannan Literary Fellowship in the US and was a Fellow in Creative and Performing Arts at The Royal College of Art from 2006-2009.
was born in 1982 and raised in Bulgaria. In 2001, he moved to America to study for a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas. His stories have appeared, among other places, in The Southern Review
, The Sunday Times
, The Best American Short Stories 2008
(edited by Salman Rushdie) and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012
. He is the author of East of the West: A Country in Stories
(2011), the title story of which appears in this collection. He is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Texas and is currently a fiction editor for American Literary Review
is a South African writer based in Cape Town. Her novel Nineveh
(2011) has been short-listed for the 2012 South African Sunday Times Fiction Prize and won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2008. She has also written a short story collection, Homing
(2010), and two other novels: Shark’s Egg
(2000) and The Rock Alphabet
(2004). She was awarded the South African PEN Literary Award in 2007 and her story ‘Falling’ was a runner-up in the 2010 Willesden Herald short story prize. Her short stories have appeared in various publications, including Granta
and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011
. She was a Fellow in Literature at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2007-8) and has held various international residencies. Henrietta studied archaeology and completed an MA at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Creative Writing under JM Coetzee in 1999. She has worked in publishing and is currently Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellow at the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA), University of Cape Town.
was born and raised in New York City and now lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters. He has an MA from Hollins University and an MFA from Washington University in Creative Writing. His debut novel, Mr. Peanut
, a 2010 New York Times
Notable Book, was also named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker
, The Philadelphia Inquirer
, The New Republic
, and The Economist
and will be published in sixteen countries. Ladies and Gentlemen
, his short story collection, was included in Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2011
. His journalism has been published in The New York Times
Book Review, The Daily Beast
, The Wall Street Journal
, The Nashville Scene
and Poets & Writers
. His fiction has appeared in The Carolina Quarterly
and Five Chapters
was born in West Yorkshire and grew up in Western Australia. She spent her early 20s working as a park ranger in Central Australia and now lives in Melbourne where she works as an agricultural journalist. Carrie completed a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at RMIT University in Melbourne.
Her first novel, Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living
, was short-listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and was the winner of the Western Australian Premier’s Fiction Prize. Her second novel, Mateship with Birds
was published in 2012.
’s debut novel, The Low Road
, won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. His second novel, Bereft
, won the Australian Book Industry Award for Literary Fiction and the Indie Award for Fiction, and was short-listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, The Age fiction prize and the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, as well as being long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Award 2011. His short story, ‘Possibility of Water’, won the Josephine Ulrick Literature Award in 2007. Chris is a journalist by training and his fiction and reviews have appeared in Granta
, The Best Australian Stories
in 2006, 2010 and 2011, Griffith Review
and The Age
. He lives in Sydney.
In collaboration with the BookTrust, and BBC Radio Four.
Cover image by Elizabeth Leeke
Also available from this series:
The BBC National Short Story Award 2011
The sixth annual edition of the award anthology. Featuring all five shortlisted authors:
& Jon McGregor
The BBC National Short Story Award 2010
The fifth annual edition of the largest national prize for the short story in the UK.
Featuring all five shortlisted authors:
& Helen Oyeyemi
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