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 Mark Haddon
"The Gun"
2014 O. Henry Award-winning Author

Everyone says it, but it's true nevertheless. It is a huge surprise, honor and affirmation to find myself amongst the company of writers whose writing I admire. Let me add that it is a special pleasure for a British writer to win an American short-story prize of any kind. We are net importers of the form by some considerable margin and North America is its spiritual home, so I feel as if I've won not just a literary award but a medal for swimming the Atlantic against the current. And it is very good to have reached dry land.

(author photo © Sos Eltis)

Author's Desk

I've lost count of the number of times I've told people what I'm working on only to find it grind to a halt. So I'm going to keep my own counsel on this one.

About the Author

I've written poetry, children's books, novels, radio plays, TV films, essays, and stage plays. I would love to say that this is because I have a voracious appetite for different forms and new challenges. The truth is that I have no plan whatsoever and spend most of my time stumbling around looking for something, anything that works. Most of what I write goes in the bin. It's a modus operandi which has been quite productive so far, but it's often uncomfortable on a day-to-day basis so that I look upon novelists who regularly publish a book every two years and playwrights who produce two scripts a year with a bitter and secret envy. I've written four short stories. I would love to publish a collection, but I'm not holding my breath.

About the Author

Mark Haddon was born in Northampton in 1962. He has written children's books, radio plays, TV scripts, and a collection of poetry, The Talking Horse, The Sad Girl and The Village Under the Sea. He is the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and two other novels, A Spot of Bother and The Red House. In 2010 his play Polar Bears was produced at the Donmar Warehouse in London. He is working on a second play. He now lives in Oxford.

Writer's Desk

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