Anchor Books The O. Henry Prize Stories
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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 Molly Antopol
"My Grandmother Tells Me This Story"
2015 O. Henry Award-winning Author

I've been religiously reading the O. Henry Prize anthologies every year since college, when I first began trying to write stories. Many of the authors whose work I cherish the most were people I first learned about through The O. Henry Prize Stories—and then I'd go search for their books. To have my own story here has been a dream for many, many years, and I'm tremendously honored to be included.

(author photo © Debbi Cooper)

Writing Tips

One thing that's always helped quell my writerly anxieties is seeking out interviews with writers I admire. Many years ago I read one with Paula Fox, whose novel Desperate Characters has meant a great deal to me over the years. She said that in writing fiction, truth is just as necessary to her as story. And she talked about the importance of genuinely meaning—and believing in—every word she wrote. Reading that interview was the first time I really understood that rather than trying to impress the reader with my cleverness, I should just write clearly and honestly about the things that are most important to me.

About the Author

Molly Antopol's debut story collection, The UnAmericans, was longlisted for the National Book Award and received a 5 Under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation. She teaches creative writing at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow, and is at work on a novel. She lives in San Francisco.

Writer's Desk

I'm working on a novel set in Israel, but I'm too superstitious to say anything else!

Writer's Desk

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

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