Danielle Evans (CC ‘04) Shortlisted for the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Prize

BY Nicole Saldarriaga, March 16, 2021

Columbia College alumna Danielle Evans '04 was recently named one of four finalists for the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, presented by The Simpson Literary Project, in a private ceremony. 

 

Her latest work, a novella and short story collection called The Office of Historical Corrections, has received high praise since its publication by Riverhead Books in November, 2020. The New Yorker called the collection, "Sublime short stories of race, grief, and belonging...an extraordinary new collection." Listen to an audio excerpt of the opening story here; and a conversation between Evans and Heidi Pitlor about Evans' work here

 

The recipient of the Joyce Carol Oates Prize will be named in late April of this year, after which the recipient will give public readings (pandemic permitting) in the Bay Area for the rest of the year and into 2022. They will also be awarded a brief residency in the University of California, Berkeley English Department next Spring. All finalists will publish work in Simpsonistas: Tales from the Simpson Literary Project Volume 4, which will be published in 2022. 

 

"All four finalists for the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Prize are spectacularly deserving," said Joseph Di Prisco, Founding Chair of the Simpson Literary Project, "having justifiably earned the love and admiration and awe of devoted readers. The Simpson Literary Project invests in and supports stories and storytelling across a great social and generational spectrum. Where we celebrate stories and their makers, including especially those on our shortlist here, we affirm the best of our diverse communities and cultures and underscore our shared humanity."

The finalists will participate in a live event, called "Meet the Finalists," on March 30, 2021 at 5 pm PT and 8 pm ET. The event, which will be open to the public, will consist of a reading in which the finalists share stories based on the theme, "The Day I Realized," and a panel discussion with Joyce Carol Oates. Register for this free virtual celebration here

 

Danielle Evans is the author of two story collections: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self and The Office of Historical Corrections. Her work has won awards and honors including the PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Hurston-Wright award for fiction, and the Paterson Prize for fiction. She is a 2011 National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree and a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts fellow. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, and American Short Fiction among others, and have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2008, 2010, 2017, and 2018, and in New Stories From the South. She received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop and currently teaches at Johns Hopkins University.

 

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE 12/6/2020

 

The Simpson Literary Project recently announced its 2021 longlist for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize, awarded annually to a midcareer fiction writer "who has earned a distinguished reputation and the approbation and gratitude of readers." Three Columbia alumni made the longlist—Catherine Lacey '10, Andrew Krivak '90, and Danielle Evans '04 (CC).

 

Nominations to the prize were submitted by publishers, agents, authors, and author representatives. The recipient of the Joyce Carol Oates Prize is awarded $50,000 to support forthcoming work. They will also be given the opportunity to "participate in virtual or non-virtual events" as well as attend a two-week residency in Berkeley, California. 

 

Lacey's most recent novel, Pew (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2020) was named one of Publishers Weekly's “Best Books of 2020,” and Kirkus calls the novel "a haunting fable about morality and self-delusion...spare and elegant as ever...darkly playful; a warning without a moral."

 

Catherine Lacey is the author of four works of fiction: Nobody Is Ever Missing, The Answers, Certain American States, and Pew. She's recently published work in The New Yorker, Harper's, and The Believer. Her books have been translated into several languages​. She is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of the Whiting Award, and earned an artists' fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Granta Magazine named her one of their "Best of Young American Novelists" in 2017. She was nominated for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and has held residencies at the Omi International Arts Center. With Forsyth Harmon, she co-authored The Art of the Affair, an illustrated guide to love and hate between dozens of twentieth century artists. Born in Mississippi, she now lives in Chicago.

 

Krivak's The Bear (Bellevue Literary Press, 2020) has been called "beautiful...so loving and vivid that you can feel the lake water and smell the sea...a perfect fable for the age of solastalgia" by Slate and was listed one of the "Best Books of the Year" by the New York Public Library. 

 

Andrew Krivak is the author of two previous novels: The Signal Flame, a Chautauqua Prize finalist, and The Sojourn, a National Book Award finalist and winner of both the Chautauqua Prize and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for fiction. He lives with his wife and three children in Somerville, Massachusetts, and Jaffrey, New Hampshire, in the shadow of Mount Monadnock, which inspired much of the landscape in The Bear.

 

Evans' latest work, The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories (Riverhead Books, 2020) has been called "gripping on every level" by Kirkus. According to The New York Times Book Review, "Evans’s propulsive narratives read as though they’re getting away with something, building what feel like novelistic plots onto the short story’s modest real estate. No surprise, then, that this collection concludes with its title novella, about a Black professor who quits her job to work for the city government, correcting factual mistakes in the public record. The story marries Melvillian mundanity with melodramatic suspense. I could have kept reading for pages." 

 

Danielle Evans is the author of two story collections: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self and The Office of Historical Corrections. Her work has won awards and honors including the PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Hurston-Wright award for fiction, and the Paterson Prize for fiction. She is a 2011 National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree and a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts fellow. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, and American Short Fiction among others, and have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2008, 2010, 2017, and 2018, and in New Stories From the South. She received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop and currently teaches at Johns Hopkins University.

 

The Shortlist for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize will be announced in March 2021, and the recipient of the prize will be announced in April 2021.