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Petina Gappah Shortlisted for €35 000 Frank O'Connor Award

An Elegy for EasterlyPetina GappahAlert! Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah has been shortlisted for the €35 000 Frank O’Connor Award for short story collections. Gappah’s An Elegy for Easterly is in the main hunt with Wells Tower’s Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, Shih-Li Kow’s Ripples and Other Stories, Simon Van Booy’s Love Begins in Winter, Philip O Ceallaigh’s The Pleasant Light of Day and Charlotte Grimshaw’s Singularity.

The award is given at the annual Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork, Ireland. This year’s winner will be announced on 20 September 2009.

Gappah said on her Facebook page, upon hearing the news, “I think I am going to die from shock and delight. I have been shortlisted for the world’s richest short story prize, the Frank O’Connor awarded by Cork City Council… The thought of winning it is so far from my mind right now, I am just stunned to be shortlisted, especially given my journey to this moment, and considering the many great writers, Adichie, Ishiguro, Gaitskill, Lasdun and Ali Smith who were also in contention.”

Here’s more:

Shortlist for the 2009 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award Announced

The shortlist for the 2009 Cork-City Frank O’Connor Short Story Award has been decided by an international jury. The award at 35,000 euro is the richest prize in the world for the short story form and is given annually to an original collection of stories judged to be the best. Previous winners have included Haruki Murakami, Miranda July, Jhumpa Lahiri and Yiyun Li. The award is organised by the Munster Literature Centre with generous funding from Cork City Council. Notable names edged out for a position on this year’s shortlist include Booker winner Kazuo Ishiguro, Orange Prize winner Chimanda Ngozi Adiche, veteran short story authors Ali Smith, Mary Gaitskill and James Lasdun and reviewers’ darling Sana Krasikov. The winner will be announced in Cork on September 20th at the closing ceremony of the tenth Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival which is the oldest annual short story festival in the world.

The year of the debutant continues with today’s announcement of the shortlist for the 2009 Frank O’Connor award, with four of the six shortlisted authors nominated for debut collections. Notable casualties from the 57-strong longlist for the world’s richest award for a collection of short stories include Kazuo Ishiguro, Ali Smith and James Lasdun.

The Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah said she had been “going around with a rather demented grin on my face” ever since she heard that her debut collection, An Elegy for Easterly, was on the list.

“I still can’t believe I am on the shortlist ahead of all those excellent writers,” she said. “It is too bizarre. At this rate, I may just start to be believe that I actually know what I am doing!”

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    June 30th, 2009 @09:14 #
     
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    Wonderful news -- congratulations, Petina. Very interesting bunch of writers on the shortlist.

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 30th, 2009 @09:54 #
     
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    Oh I really hope she wins! Go Petina!

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  • <a href="http://sarahlotz.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sarah Lotz</a>
    Sarah Lotz
    June 30th, 2009 @10:26 #
     
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    Congrats, Petina, I think all of us here will be holding thumbs for you.

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  • <a href="http://petinagappah.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Petina Gappah</a>
    Petina Gappah
    June 30th, 2009 @12:08 #
     
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    Oy, Ben and Sarah, quoting a girl's giddy facebook status updates - not cricket:) And my face is not that round! Or is it??
    Thanks so much for the good wishes all of you.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    June 30th, 2009 @12:39 #
     
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    Petina, does this mean you too are a fan of cricket? Now I want you to win more than ever!

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  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    June 30th, 2009 @12:46 #
     
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    Wow, that's fantastic, brilliant and wonderful. Congratulations, Petina. Hurry up September.

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 30th, 2009 @14:37 #
     
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    And send me a photo of Moxy and Kush to add to my blog post!

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  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 30th, 2009 @15:41 #
     
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    Oy, whatta load a lolly. And who said the short story is dead?

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