Alumnus Francisco González Awarded O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction

Carlos Barragán
May 09, 2024

Writing alumnus Francisco González ’19 has been awarded the prestigious O. Henry Prize for his short story "Serranos," published in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. The O. Henry Prize recognizes outstanding short stories of exceptional merit on an annual basis.

"Serranos" tells the rise and fall of an unusual family of undocumented workers in rural California. González first won this award in 2022 with his story "Clean Teen," which was published in Gulf Coast after winning the 2020 Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction.

This year’s O. Henry Prize collection features twenty prize-winning stories selected from numerous submissions, curated by guest editor Amor Towles and series editor Jenny Minton Quigley. The anthology includes an introduction by Towles, insights from the winning authors about their inspirations, and a comprehensive list of magazines that publish short fiction.

“Through Amor Towles’ 2024 selection of O. Henry Prize winning stories we are allowed glimpses into the minds, lives, and relationships of ordinary people,” said Jenny Minton Quigley, series editor for The Best Short Stories of The Year: The O. Henry Prize Winners. The stories introduce characters moving through all the stages of life, their revelations conjured up through vivid imagery—a couple driving through snow in a car with a stranger and their cat, a band of RVs in the desert, a canoe drifting on a lake under the stars, a greenhouse full of soccer balls.”

González lives in East Los Angeles. His literary work has appeared in several esteemed publications including The Southern Review, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere.