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The BBC National Short Story Award 2013 [Paperback]

Sarah Hall , Lucy Wood , Lionel Shriver , Lavinia Greenlaw , Lisa Blower , Mariella Frostrup
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

3 Oct 2013 BBC National Short Story Award
Edgar Allan Poe once claimed the greatest literary works were those that could be read in one sitting. Brevity must be in direct ratio of the intensity of the intended effect, he argued, once the effect has been established, of course. The stories shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2013 all use brevity with striking results, whether presenting a complex family history through the snapshots of a time-honoured, annual holiday, or using the form of a letter to demonstrate that a life mourned by a solitary woman is worth no less than one mourned by a nation. Each story sparks into life instantly and, like a struck match, leaves a vivid impression of its characters burning on the retina, long after the story has concluded. The landscapes they play out in also make their mark from the panic-stricken streets of New York on 9/11, to the eerie quiet of a wood on the outskirts of a city, the haunted corners of an old Cornish house, to the rubble of a bombed-out office block in a country at war with itself. This year's shortlist was drawn up by a panel of judges that included novelists Deborah Moggach, Mohsin Hamid and Peter Hobbs, as well as BBC Editor of Readings, Di Speirs, and the broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, who chaired the panel and who also introduces the collection.

Frequently Bought Together

The BBC National Short Story Award 2013 + The Best British Short Stories 2013 + The Oxford Book of English Short Stories (Oxford Books of Prose & Verse)
Price For All Three: 19.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Comma Press (3 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190558363X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905583638
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 30.5 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Sarah Hall is the author of Haweswater (2003), which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel, a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award, and a Lakeland Book of the Year prize. Her second novel, The Electric Michelangelo (2004), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia region), and the Prix Femina Étranger, and was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her third novel, The Carhullan Army (2007) won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, a Lakeland Book of the Year prize, was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction, and long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC Award. Her fourth novel, How To Paint A Dead Man (2009) was longlisted for the Man Booker prize and won the Portico Prize for Fiction. Her first collection of short stories, The Beautiful Indifference (2011) won the Portico Prize for Fiction and the Edge Hill Short Story prize. It was also short-listed for the Frank O Connor Prize. Lucy Wood completed her BA in English and MA in Creative Writing at Exeter University. Her first book, Diving Belles (2012), is a collection of short stories based on Cornish folklore. She has been longlisted for the Frank O Connor Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and has received a Somerset Maugham Award. Her story, Of Mothers and Little People was published in the Telegraph. She has also had stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and as one of the Guardian Short Story Podcasts 2013. She is currently working on her first novel, which is called Weathering. Lucy was born in Cornwall and now lives in Exeter.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Stories, especially Barmouth 13 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lovely short read - perfect for a short time available to read.Fantastic stories by some great writers. Especially liked Barmouth - a very evocative story linking growing up and a journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The five 2013 winners of an annual BBC short story competition are in this book. Mariella Frostrup was the chairman of the judging panel and has written an introduction, reminding us all of the value of a good short story.
Barmouth - one family's history told through their annual caravan holidays. First person narrative works well and communicates the sadness and hope. This is a big story told conservatively using clever evocative hints, with time passing almost unnoticed. There is something here for everyone to recognise.
We are watching something terrible happening - this one lost me completely. It was very ethereal and seemed to be trying to put a relationship breakdown into a post apocalyptic setting.
Mrs Fox - oddly there is a Kafka feel to this story. It is interesting to read the metamorphosis of the character but I found it difficult to relate to or enjoy (actually the same reaction I had when I read Kafka).
Prepositions - this Lionel Shriver story is the reason I bought this book, the concept of which fascinates me, and I was not disappointed. It is a letter from a New York widow whose husband died on 9/11 to a widow whose husband died in 9/11 (one letter but massive difference) talking about the effect this prepositions had on their grief process.
Notes from the house spirits - self explanatory title as the story is narrated by some sort of ghostly being attached to a house. Overtime we hear about the various people moving in and out along with changes to the structure of the home. I enjoyed this one.
Overall, I really enjoyed 3, one I was undecided about and one I didn't enjoy at all - not bad!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nag 30 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Great short story book nice to dip in to.
Excellent writing especially the Kafka style one! Good to support such great talent .
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2.0 out of 5 stars ! excellent story 5 May 2014
By Benton
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Lionel Shriver story is superb. The others are not to my taste being fantasy although admittedly very well written. .
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