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 Jamie Quatro
"Sinkhole"
2013 O. Henry Award-winning Author

In the fall of 1989 I was a sophomore English major, and was taking a course on the history of the American short story. The 1989 O.Henry anthology was one of our texts. I remember sitting in class with the book open to a Joyce Carol Oates story about a couple whose baby had died—I had all kinds of notes in the margins, things I planned to say—when a student burst into the classroom and yelled, They're tearing the Berlin Wall down! The professor cancelled class and we all ran over to the student center to watch the news. Before I left the classroom, I wrote the date and time up in the corner of the front cover.

I don't remember if we ever got around to discussing the Oates story. But I've kept that book; in my mind, the O.Henry anthology will be forever linked to freedom, to the removal of barriers. It's an incredible honor to have a place in its history.

(author photo © Kristen Brock)


Writer's Desk

I'm working on a novel that loosely appropriates the four—part structure of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." I'm also writing stories, with an eye toward a second linked collection.


About the Author

Jamie Quatro was born in San Diego, CA, and grew up in Tucson, AZ. Her fiction and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Oxford American, McSweeney's, The Southern Review, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. Her debut story collection I Want To Show You More was a finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. Quatro is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and holds graduate degrees from The College of William and Mary and the Bennington College Writing Seminars. She lives in Lookout Mountain, GA.


Writer's Desk

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