31 Days of Stories: A conundrum

May 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Smack in the middle of a month dedicated to short stories, The Afterword has posted the shortlist for the Danuta Gleed Award, which is presented “to the best first collection of short fiction.” The nominees are:

  • Overqualified by Joey Comeau
  • Wax Boats by Sarah Roberts
  • Vanishing and Other Stories by Deborah Willis

The award comes with a $10,000 purse, but the shortlist has left yr. humble correspondent somewhat confused. Comeau’s book, a collection of mock cover letters that Brian Bethune at Macleans praised as “One of the season’s most remarkable books,” was promoted as a novel. Of course, the folks at the Danuta Gleed Award are not the first people to grapple with the book’s essence. Fellow ECW Press author Corey Redekop wrote on his blog: “Overqualified is a hard novel to categorize; is it a memoir? An exercise in form and style? A joke? Probably all [of these], and then some.” And let’s face it: generic categories are often slipperier than they might at first appear. Lives of Girls and Women, anyone?

Comments are closed.