Twelve authors made it onto the longlist for the 2016 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. The shortlist of six was announced on March 20, and the winner will be announced at a gala dinner at Stationers’ Hall in London on Friday, April 22.
Alix Christie is a journalist, printer and author based in London. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, Alix read philosophy at Vassar College and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley and a masters of fine arts from St. Mary’s College of California. Her career as a newspaper reporter and foreign correspondent began in her native northern California and has taken her to France, Germany, and England. She has reported from Europe for the Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon.com, Washington Post and many other publications. She currently lives in London with her husband and two children, while her Chandler & Price letterpress resides in San Francisco. When not writing she swims in the Serpentine in Hyde Park, haunts the London Library and contributes book and arts reviews to The Economist.
Her debut novel, “Gutenberg’s Apprentice”, was published by Headline in Great Britain and Harper Books in the United States in 2014. The story of the invention of printing and the making of the Gutenberg Bible, it has been longlisted for the 2015 International Dublin Literary Award and translated into half a dozen languages. Her shorter fiction has been honoured in both the U.S. and U.K. A novella, “Motherland”, was runner-up in the 2015 Novella Award sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University and Liverpool John Moores University. A short story won her the 2011 McGinnis-Ritchie award for fiction from the Southwest Review, one of America’s oldest literary reviews.
What Time is it Now, Where You Are?
Colum McCann began his work as a journalist in Dublin, then moved to the United States where he took a cross-country bicycle trip for two years. He has also lived in Japan. Colum is the co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4, and he teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College. He lives in New York with his wife, Allison, and their three children and is known as a committed activist and teacher.
Colum is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the 2009 National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the Man Booker Prize Longlist, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. His work has been published in over 35 languages.
Photograph © Dustin Aksland
The Glass Woman
Deborah Levy trained as a playwright at Dartington College of Arts and has written for the Royal Shakespeare Company. From 2006-9 she taught writing in the Animation Department at The Royal College of Art. Her novel, “Swimming Home”, was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize and translated all over the world. Her anthology of short stories, “Black Vodka”, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, as were her dramatizations of ten Katherine Mansfield short stories, “In a German Pension”, and two of Freud’s most iconic case-histories. Early novels include: “Beautiful Mutants”, “Swallowing Geography”, “The Unloved”, all reprinted by Penguin in 2014. Levy’s autobiographical essay on writing and gender politics, “Things I Don’t Want to Know”, is published in the UK, Germany and the US. Her new novel, “Hot Milk”, will be published by Hamish Hamilton in March 2016.
Photograph © Shelia Burnett
Edith Pearlman’s collection “Binocular Vision” won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Story Prize. The author of four other collections, including, most recently, “Honeydew”, she has also received the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story. Her widely admired stories have been reprinted numerous times in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize. A New Englander by both birth and preference, Pearlman lives with her husband in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Photograph © Jeremy Young
The Human Phonograph
Jonathan Tel is a former quantum physicist with a Ph.D from Stanford University. He has lived and written in Tokyo, Beijing, Jerusalem, Berlin and San Francisco.
He is a previous shortlistee for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, in 2014 for “The Shoe King of Shanghai. He won the 2015 V.S. Pritchett Story Award and was a finalist for the 2015 Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize for “The Seduction of a Provincial Accountant” and “Year of the Panda” respectively. This story, “The Human Phonograph”, won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The four stories are extracting from an unpublished collection relating to financial corruption in contemporary China entitled “Scratching the Head of Chairman Mao.”
Photograph © Francesco Guidicini
Poppies in the Snow
Following a diploma in hotel management, Madhulika Liddle worked in hospitality, advertising, travel, and instructional design before becoming a full-time writer. Madhulika lives with her husband and their adopted daughter in New Delhi, India. She spends her free time reading, travelling, and watching classic cinema and modern Korean TV dramas.
She is best-known as the author of the Muzaffar Jang series, historical detective fiction books featuring a Mughal detective in 17th century Delhi. The latest book in the series, Crimson City, was released in September 2015.
Madhulika also writes short stories in different genres, including crime, black humour, and historical. Her story, A Morning Swim, won the Overall Prize at the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association’s Short Story Competition, 2003.
Maggie Shipstead is the author of two novels: “Astonish Me” and “Seating Arrangements”, which was a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford.
Her writing has appeared in many publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Conde Nast Traveler, Tin House, VQR, and The Best American Short Stories. In 2012, she was a National Magazine Award finalist for fiction. She lives in Los Angeles.
Photograph © Alisha & Brook Photographers
The Master Swordsman
Marcel Theroux is the award-winning author of five novels, including “The Paper Chase”, “Far North”, and most recently, “Strange Bodies”. “Far North” was described by the Washington Post as “the first great cautionary fable of climate change.” It was a finalist for the US National Book Award, the Arthur C Clarke Award, and awarded the Prix de l’Inaperçu in 2011. It was translated into Japanese by the acclaimed novelist Haruki Murakami. Theroux’s most recent novel, “Strange Bodies”, won the 2014 John W. Campbell Award for science fiction. The London Times called it “a tense thriller and a brilliantly imagined debate about the relationship between body and soul.”
Nicholas Ruddock trained in medicine in Toronto, Montrael and St John’s Newfoundland. He has worked as a G.P. since 1971. He lives in Ontario with his wife, artist Cheryl, and four children.
His recent publications include “The Parabolist” published in 2010 by Doubleday Canada and “How Loveta Got Her Baby” a collection of stories published in 2014 by Breakwater Books. His new novel “Night Ambulance” will be published in April 2016 by Breakwater Books.
Nicholas has had repeated success for his short fiction. His stories have been published by Exile Quarterly, Fish and Bridport anthologies, and he won the 2005 Sheldon Currie Fiction Prize, 2013 Bridport Flash Fiction prize and the 2015 edition of Exile’s Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Competition.
The News of Her Death
Petina Gappah was educated at the University of Zimbabwe, University of Cambridge, and holds a PhD in international law from University of Graz, Austria. She currently works in Geneva as an international trade lawyer for an organisation that advises more than 70 developing country governments on the law of the World Trade Organization. Her son Kush, 12, is at school in Edinburgh.
Her first book, “An Elegy for Easterly”, was published by Faber in 2009. A collection of short stories focusing on the ordinary lives of Zimbabweans living in extraordinary circumstances, was awarded the Guardian First Book Prize in 2009, and shortlisted for the Orwell Prize, the LA Times First Book Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize and Zimbabwe’s National Merit Award.
Petina’s second, “The Book of Memory”, a novel, was published by Faber in September 2015. It narrates the story of a woman on death row in Zimbabwe who is fighting for her life. It was longlisted for the Financial Times Emerging Voices Award. Her newest book, “Rotten Row”, a story collection that centres on crime and the justice system in Zimbabwe, will be published by Faber during 2016.
ROB MAGNUSON SMITH
The Elector of Nossnearly
Rob Magnuson Smith Rob is a dual citizen of the US and the UK. He studied philosophy and psychology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California and has been variously employed as a mental health worker, tennis instructor, and bartender. He graduated from University of East Anglia’s MA in Creative Writing (as the 2010 David Higham Award winner) and was the 2010-2013 International Doctoral Research Fellow at Bath Spa University’s PhD in Creative Writing. Rob is currently a Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Exeter University’s Cornwall campus.
Rob’s debut novel “The Gravedigger” appeared in 2010 after winning the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner Award. His novel “Scorper” was published in February 2015 by Granta Books. Rob’s short fiction has been published most recently in The Clearing, The Literarian, the Guardian, The Istanbul Review, The Reader, and the Australian Book. Review as the winner of the 2015 Elizabeth Jolley Prize.
Thomas Morris grew up in Caerphilly and was educated entirely through the medium of Welsh until the age of 18. He received a BA in English literature and philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin followed by an MA in Creative Writing Prose from University of East Anglia.
He currently edits Dublin-based literary magazine The Stinging. As a teenager he was (briefly) a Welsh league footballer.
He recently brought out his first story collection, “We Don’t Know What We’re Doing”, published in the summer of 2015 by Faber.