Austin Author Elizabeth McCracken Wins 2014 Story Prize! Congratulations From BookPeople!

 

We were pleased to host Elizabeth McCracken for the release of Thunderstruck & Other Stories back in April of 2014 and are excited that the National Book Award nominee is receiving the much lauded Story Prize. She joins the company of other great writers like George Saunders, Mary Gordon, and Anthony Doerr as recipients. Here’s a quick description of the collection and a few things the judges had to say about Thunderstruck.

thunderstruck “McCracken explores the unexpected avenues of loss in this absorbing new collection. What I love about McCracken is knowing that the characters I meet on her pages will never be typical. I come again and again to the little girl dressed as Patrick Henry; a room full of budgies to replace a prodigal son; the emotional terrain of traumatized librarians. The ways we deal with absence are at the heart of each story and its haunting characters. McCracken’s humor brings levity to this unique, memorable collection.” –Julie W., BookPeople Marketing Director

Judges comments:

The judges called McCracken’s book electrifying and cited her as a writer with compassion and as a master of the telling detail:

“Each story in the collection reads like a masterwork, rich and confident and surprising, and together they form an electrifying whole.”

“She is the master of the small and perfectly telling detail—the mother’s light tap of a hand on her child’s coffin, a suitcase fallen over like ‘a shot dog,’ ‘a pair of red and white espadrilles that had run in the rain.’ She writes with such an open and compassionate heart that even the most damaged and lost of her characters thrum with life.”

Praise:

“Restorative, unforgettable . . . McCracken knows how loss can melt reality, forever altering a person’s sense of time. . . . In her new collection, McCracken gives brilliantly splintered life to just that kind of story. . . . A powerful testament to the scratchy humor and warm intelligence of McCracken’s writing.”—Sylvia Brownrigg, The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)

“Stunningly beautiful . . . brilliantly moving . . . Moments of joy and pure magic flicker and pitch-perfect humor acts as a furtive SOS signal through the fog of loss.”Los Angeles Times

“The draw here is mesmerizing strangeness, heightened by McCracken’s extraordinary images.”—NPR

“McCracken is one of my favorite writers. . . . She writes with acuity, soul, and a kind of easy grace that probably kills her, about characters she has created to love. . . . Anything new by her is an excuse for wild, drunken celebration.” —Nick Hornby, The Believer

 

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