Until recently, my only experience of the short story format was within the horror genre, with authors such as Stephen King. I’m glad to say, however, that thanks to fantastic writers such as Sarah Salway and Patrick Chapman, this has now changed.
Simon van Booy is an author to now add to this list. This was my first experience of his writing, but I shall certainly be searching out more.
To me, there is a real art to sucessfully writing this format. It lacks the luxery of time, to develop both characters and storyline. Obviously short stories within the horror section are plot driven, but once you move into general fiction, there is scope for both.
The five stories within this book do have storylines, but the emphasis is on the characters. Within very few words, Simon throws you straight into the character’s personalities, making you feel that you know and understand them.
The writing has a wonderful poetic feel to it – the stories all make for fairly quick reading, but they would definitely benefit from a slower re-read. There is an impression that there is more waiting to be discovered the second time round.
Published by Beautiful Books June 2009
1st July 2009
Van Booy shortlisted for Frank O’Connor Award
The shortlist for the 2009 Cork-City Frank O’Connor Short Story Award has been decided by an international jury. The award at 35,000 euro is the richest prize in the world for the short story form and is given annually to an original collection of stories judged to be the best. Previous winners have included Haruki Murakami, Miranda July, Jhumpa Lahiri and Yiyun Li. The award is organised by the Munster Literature Centre with generous funding from Cork City Council. The winner will be announced in Cork on September 20th at the closing ceremony of the tenth Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival which is the oldest annual short story festival in the world.