The Munster Literature Centre has announced the shortlist for 2015's Frank O'Connor International Short Story, the world's richest short story award.
The €25,000 prize is the single largest cash prize for a collection of short stories, with previous winners including Haruki Murakami, Edna O'Brien and Ron Rash. The award is named after Cork native Frank O'Connor, the author best known for his short story collections, such as Guests of the Nation.
Of the six nominated, there are three American authors (Karen E. Bender, Tony Early and Thomas McGuane), Welsh author Carys Davies, New Zealander Kristy Gunn and Chilean Alejandro Zambra.
Speaking of her excitement at being nominated, Karen E. Bender said: "The word inventors have to create a new term to describe how I felt when I learned that Refund was on the shortlist for the Frank O'Connor International Story prize. Excited, thrilled, honored, none of them quite do it."
Award director Patrick Cotter added that it is a "striking to note that we have three titles this year from small independent presses. It demonstrates that the dissemination of good writing is vital at a grass roots level; that multi-national conglomerates don’t have a monopoly on major talent".
The full shortlist is:
Refund by Karen E. Bender - Counterpoint Press US
The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies - Salt Publishing UK
Mr. Tall by Tony Earley - Little Brown US
Infidelities by Kirsty Gunn - Faber UK
Crow Fair by Thomas McGuane – Knopf US
My Documents by Alejandro Zambra - Fitzcarraldo Press UK