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 Joseph O'Neill
"The Trusted Traveler"
2017 O. Henry Award-winning Author

I'm delighted, and not simply because it's delightful to receive this great honor. Stories that appear alongside other stories, as do the O. Henry Prize stories, are newly readable. The mutual proximity makes something interesting happen.

(author photo © Joseph O'Neill)

Writing Tips

I was educated in Europe and didn't receive any of the creative writing instruction that is plentiful in the U.S, and partly for this reason, I think, as a young writer I didn't write short stories. (I very happily read them, of course.) It's only in the last few years that I've started to devote my deepest attention to this form, and to understand the kinds of adventures it can offer a writer, and to be excited by it.

Writer's Desk

I seem to be mainly working on trying to find the space—mental and emotional—to work. There seems to be a lot going on in the world, almost all of it disturbing, and it throws a grotesque shadow on anything one tries to write. How to accommodate that shadow?

About the Author

Joseph O'Neill was born in Cork, Ireland. He has written four novels, including Netherland, which received the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and most recently The Dog, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His short fiction has been published in The American Scholar, The New Yorker, and several collections of new Irish fiction. He teaches at Bard College and lives in New York City.

Writer's Desk

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

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