Tuesday, April 04, 2006
The Usual Suspects
I'd forgotten Nesta's short story prize almost as soon as it was announced, because it seemed to be offering nothing more than a "beauty contest" for established prom queens, and so, it seems, that has come to pass, with William Trevor, James Lasdun, Rose Tremain and Michael Faber on the 5 person shortlist. I'm sure they're all fine, and good luck to Rana Dasgupta in such distinguished company. The reason I lost interest as soon as the prize was announced was because it wasn't clear what "record of publication" actually meant - and whether publication in such a small magazine as our own would count. I hardly want to bother mentioning the prize really. I'm impressed that they got such a distinguished list from 1400 entries or so; I wonder if they were anonymously judged? I like James Lasdun's fiction, and he's a writer's writer more than a popular success, so I guess it would be good if he gained a little popularity out of it. Certainly at least 4 of those 5 writers could ring up the editor of Granta any day of the week and get a story placed there; and probably anywhere else as well; so I'm not sure that the prize actually "helps" the short story. I just hope the stories are good.
Posted by Adrian Slatcher at 3:08 PM