UPDATE, 5/31: Congratulations to commenters #24 (John Vanderslice) and #2 (Cara Holman), who, with some help from Random.org, have triumphed and emerged as winners of our short story collection giveaway project offerings. John and Cara, please e-mail me and let me know which book you prefer (first e-mailer gets first choice). Please include your mailing address--I will order the books and have them shipped to you asap. And thanks to everyone for participating!
Remember last month, when I stumbled on the National Poetry Month Poetry Book Giveaway? Well, all of the wonderful energy and ideas behind that project made me think that a similar enterprise should be undertaken for May, which has lately become something of an unofficial Short Story Month (as Poets & Writers recently noted, crediting organizations such as the Emerging Writers Network for the development).
Because I have such huge respect for the work of Anne Stameshkin and the entire team over at Fiction Writers Review (FWR), I contacted Anne to see if FWR might want to take on the considerable work involved with hosting a multi-blog "Short Story Collection Giveaway" this month. Fortunately, Anne agreed, and FWR is the hub for the project, and that's where you'll be able to check the full list of participating bloggers (improve your chances for winning by entering multiple giveaways, and get to know some bloggers who love short story collections in the process!).
Now, following the rules that FWR has come up with, I am happy to recommend to you two story collections. On May 31, I'll announce the names of two winners selected at random from the comments section for this post. And then I'll purchase two books and mail one to each lucky winner.
To participate in Practicing Writing's portion of Short Story Month 2010: The Giveaway Project, I'm asking you to add a comment here, telling us about (or at least the name of) a collection you love or one you're looking forward to reading. Comments that don't mention a specific collection will not be eligible for the giveaway. Comments should be submitted no later than noon (U.S. Eastern) on Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day here in the U.S.), and I'll have the winners' names posted before midnight.
And now (drum roll, please)...I am delighted to announce the two story collections that this practicing writer will be purchasing and sending to two lucky winners:
First, we have Who I Was Supposed to Be (published in 1999 by Simon & Schuster), written by Susan Perabo. One of the bright lights that sustained me through my MFA program was my friendship with Susan Perabo, a gifted teacher (her "large group" workshops and craft seminars were among my very favorites) and equally gifted writer. I read Susan's debut collection, Who I Was Supposed to Be, very soon after meeting the author at my first residency in May 2001. And then I reread it, bought it for friends' birthdays, etc. I even mentioned it right here on the blog three years ago. And now I'll buy a copy for one of you.
Meantime, in preparing this post, I discovered a terrific interview with Susan that I hope you'll all take a few moments to listen to. If you're very time-pressed, skip ahead and read through some of the praise that the book received from The Los Angeles Times and The Baltimore Sun. Who I Was Supposed to Be was named a "Book of the Year" by the Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, and The St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Moving on to the second book I'll be delighted to purchase and send to a lucky winner, allow me to present The Pale of Settlement (published in 2007 by the University of Georgia Press), written by Margot Singer. This is another book I have mentioned here before. (I've also written about it for Kenyon Review Online.) Winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, the Reform Judaism Prize for Jewish Fiction, and the Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, The Pale of Settlement is also another book that I've been unable to stop recommending to others.
But don't just take my word for it. Read excerpts from one of the stories on the National Endowment for the Arts website. Check out interviews with Margot Singer in The Southeast Review Online, Reform Judaism magazine, and the old Nextbook (now Tablet) site. And listen to Alan Cheuse discuss the collection for NPR.
Want to win one of these books? Remember, to be eligible, you need to submit a comment to this post, telling us about (or at least the name of) a short story collection you love or one you're looking forward to reading. Comments that don’t mention a specific collection will not be eligible for the giveaway. If your comment doesn't link to your personal site, please leave your e-mail address for me to use if I need to contact you about your prize. I look forward to reading all of your recommendations, and I thank you for participating in any way you are able: commenting, joining the giveaway project as a participating blogger, or even simply spreading the word.