First, last week the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded Laura van den Berg the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award—which includes a $10,000 prize—for The Isle of Youth. The prize recognizes “a young writer of considerable literary talent for a work published in 2013.” You’ll hear no argument from us. We’ve been crowing about Laura’s considerable literary talent for months. And we are thrilled, honored, and grateful—maybe not quite so thrilled, honored, and grateful as Laura herself, but still pretty damn thrilled, honored, and grateful—to have the American Academy join the cause. Especially when you look at the writers who’ve won the Rosenthal in the past five years: Claire Vaye Watkins, Teju Cole, Monique Truong, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Chris Adrian… Hot damn!
And then…and then! It was announced that Laura’s story “Antarctica”—which appears in The Isle of Youth and was originally published in Glimmer Train—will appear in both Best American Short Stories 2014 (edited by Jennifer Egan) and Best American Mystery Stories 2014 (edited by Laura Lippman. Did we already say Hot damn? HOT DAMN!
This, of course, all on the heels of The Isle of Youth being included on the long list for the Story Prize. (By the way, congrats George! No arguments here either.) And speaking of which, don’t miss Laura’s piece on writing “Antarctica” for The Story Prize blog.
You say you haven’t read Isle of Youth yet? GET ON IT. (If all this hasn’t convinced you, maybe try this?) Oh, right, of course you have. Then you know how much you want to read how to bounce back from bad reviews (including a honey badger cameo) in Flavorwire—not that we remember too many of those. Go on, read away, we’ll be here when you get back.
But of course we’ll just send you off again to see her read in a town near you.