Anchor Books The O. Henry Prize Stories
About the Series Widely regarded as the nation's most prestigious awards for short fiction
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What does it mean to be included in the O. Henry Prize Stories? How does an author refine their art? We've given the authors of the winning and recommended stories free rein to share their thoughts on these questions and others, and the result is a rare treat.

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Comments Tahmima Anam
2017 O. Henry Award-winning Author

I'm thrilled and honored. I've been reading The O Henry Prize Stories for as long as I can remember. "Garments" was an intensely local story—it was about the lure of a particular city Dhaka—and how it shaped the imaginations of these young women as they sought to make their way. I had no idea the story would travel as far as it did, and I feel incredibly privileged to have been included in the anthology.

(author photo © Abeer Y. Hoque)

Writing Tips

I find short stories intimidating. All that work in such a short space of time; you don't have the luxury of spending pages and pages on getting the reader acclimatized to your world, to your language, your way of telling the story. It's the reading equivalent of speed dating. But lately I've also come to think of it as a hopeful medium, something that reminds us of how little it takes—just a few pages—for us to commit radical leaps of empathy.

Writer's Desk

I'm writing a long essay for a series called "The Face." It's about how I have a face that doesn't match my identity, and all the ways this mismatched face has shaped my relationship to the world.

About the Author

Tahmima Anam, an anthropologist and a novelist, was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her debut novel, A Golden Age, was winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. In 2013, she was named one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists. She is a Contributing Opinion Writer for The New York Times and was a judge for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. She was educated at Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University, and now lives in Hackney, East London.

Writer's Desk

Browse our archive of featured authors from this and other editions of The O. Henry Prize Stories.

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