Edge Hill Prize 2013: shortlist round-up

Time for one last post on the Edge Hill Short Story Prize before this year’s winner is announced on Thursday night. Here, in a format inspired by one of Naomi Frisby’s posts on the Women’s Prize, is an overview of the shortlist with a few words on why each book might win. I’ve also included a selection of ‘key stories’ for each, which are not intended to be a statement of the ‘best’ ones, but are chosen to illustrate the range of each book.


Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry (Jonathan Cape)

My review on the blog.

Why it might win: It’s a good all-round collection exploring the joys, hopes, and sorrows of life. Barry’s versatility is clear to see, his prose a delight to read.

Key stories: ‘Across the Rooftops'; ‘Beer Trip to Llandudno'; ‘Ernestine and Kit’.


Astray by Emma Donoghue (Pan Macmillan)

My review on the blog.

Why it might win: Illuminates history in a distinctive, multi-faceted way.

Key stories: ‘The Widow’s Cruse'; ‘The Gift'; ‘What Remains’.


The Stone Thrower by Adam Marek (Comma Press)

My review on the blog:

Why it might win: strong thematic unity in its exploration of parents’ concern for children; and a thoughtful, emotion-centred approach to its speculative material.

Key stories: ‘Fewer Things'; ‘A Thousand Seams'; ‘Santa Carla Day’.


This Isn’t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You by Jon McGregor (Bloomsbury)

My review on the blog.

Why it might win: Perhaps the most acute psychological insight of all the shortlisted collections; and vivid, sensitive depiction of life’s mundanities.

Key Stories: ‘If It Keeps On Raining'; ‘We Wave and Call'; ‘Keeping Watch Over the Sheep’.


Hitting Trees with Sticks by Jane Rogers (Comma Press)

My review on the blog.

Why it might win: explores its recurring theme (understanding, or a lack thereof) from many angles – and some superb characterisation.

Key stories: ‘Hitting Trees with Sticks'; ‘Red Enters the Eye'; ‘Kiss and Tell’.


Diving Belles by Lucy Wood (Bloomsbury)

My review at Strange Horizons.

Why it might win: Wood combines Cornish folklore and contemporary life to create a world that’s all her own. There’s proper magic in this book.

Key stories: ‘Countless Stones’; ‘The Wishing Tree’; ‘Some Drolls Are Like That, and Some Are Like This’.


Follow hashtag #EHShort on Twitter for news of the winner.

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