The BBC National Short Story Award 2014

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Short story writers often say that, for maximum dramatic effect, you should arrive fashionably late to a scene. After years of living in the literary wilderness, it seems the short story’s own moment has finally arrived. The last twelve months have marked an extraordinary year for the form. The Nobel Prize for Literature, the Man Booker International Prize, the Folio Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize were all awarded to short story writers.

The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award 2014 captures the spirit of this mood and the short story’s knack for cutting straight to the action, the all-important moment of change. The five stories on this year’s shortlist were chosen by a panel of judges that included: poet and novelist Adam Foulds; author, illustrator and performer Laura Dockrill; editor Philip Gwyn Jones; BBC Editor of Books Di Speirs; and the broadcaster Alan Yentob, who chaired the panel and introduces this collection.

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Comma Press
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Published on
Sep 17, 2014
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Fiction / General
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Literary Collections / General
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Τι συμβαίνει όταν η μητρότητα δεν είναι μια ονειρεμένη εμπειρία; Πώς νιώθει μια μητέρα απέναντι στον γιο της τον δολοφόνο; Ποιες είναι οι ευθύνες της; Εγκληματίας γεννιέσαι ή γίνεσαι; Η Ίβα ποτέ δεν ήθελε πραγματικά να γίνει μητέρα. Σίγουρα δεν ήθελε να γίνει η μητέρα ενός ψυχρού αγοριού που δολοφόνησε εφτά συμμαθητές του, έναν υπάλληλο της σχολικής καντίνας και μια δημοφιλή καθηγήτριά του λίγες μέρες πριν κλείσει τα δεκάξι. Δύο χρόνια μετά τα τραγικά γεγονότα, ήρθε η ώρα η Ίβα να αναλύσει με ειλικρίνεια τον γάμο, την καριέρα της, την οικογένειά της, τη σχέση της με τα παιδιά της, το φονικό ξέσπασμα του Κέβιν σε μια σειρά από αφοπλιστικά εξομολογητικές επιστολές που απευθύνονται στον χαμένο σύζυγό της, τον Φράνκλιν. Αφυπνιστικό και προκλητικό, το μυθιστόρημα αυτό αγαπήθηκε από εκατομμύρια αναγνώστες σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο και προκάλεσε θύελλα συζητήσεων.
A striking new collection of ten short stories and two novellas that explores the idea of property in every meaning of the word, from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award finalist So Much for That and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Intermingling settings in America and Britain, Lionel Shriver’s first collection explores property in both senses of the word: real estate and stuff. These pieces illustrate how our possessions act as proxies for ourselves, and how tussles over ownership articulate the power dynamics of our relationships. In Lionel Shriver’s world, we may possess people and objects and places, but in turn they possess us.

In the stunning novella "The Standing Chandelier," a woman with a history of attracting other women’s antagonism creates a deeply personal wedding present for her best friend and his fiancée—only to discover that the jealous fiancée wants to cut her out of their lives. In "Domestic Terrorism," a thirty-something son refuses to leave home, resulting in a standoff that renders him a millennial cause célèbre. In "The ChapStick," a middle-aged man subjugated by service to his elderly father discovers that the last place you should finally assert yourself is airport security. In "Vermin," an artistic Brooklyn couple’s purchase of a ramshackle house destroys their once-passionate relationship. In "The Subletter," two women, both foreign conflict junkies, fight over a claim to a territory that doesn’t belong to either.

Exhibiting a satisfying thematic unity unusual for a collection, this masterful work showcases the biting insight that has made Shriver one of the most acclaimed writers of our time.

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