The University of Iowa

Elizabeth McCracken wins the Story Prize

Elizabeth McCracken is the recipient of the $20,000 Story Prize for her collection “Thunderstruck.” McCracken was awarded the short-fiction prize Wednesday night at a ceremony in New York.



Of McCracken’s work, the judges wrote: “She is the master of the small and perfectly telling detail — the mother's light tap of a hand on her child's coffin, a suitcase fallen over like ‘a shot dog,’ ‘a pair of red and white espadrilles that had run in the rain.’ She writes with such an open and compassionate heart that even the most damaged and lost of her characters thrum with life.”

All three finalists for the Story Prize were present for the event and read from their books before the awards presentation. The other  finalists – Francesca Marciano for “The Other Language” and Lorrie Moore for “Bark” will each get $5,000.

Elizabeth McCracken is the author of five books: Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry (stories), the novels The Giant’s House and Niagara Falls All Over Again, the memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, and the forthcoming Thunderstruck & Other Stories.  She’s received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Liguria Study Center, the American Academy in Berlin, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

She has taught creative writing at Western Michigan University, the University of Oregon, the University of Houston, the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.