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NOVELIST AND BARD COLLEGE PROFESSOR BRADFORD MORROW IS AMONG WINNERS OF PRESTIGIOUS O. HENRY PRIZE FOR 2003 Morrow Joins Other Distinguished Writers, Including T. Coraghessan Boyle, A. S. Byatt, and Alice Munro, in Receiving 2003 Prize For Short Fiction

Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Novelist and Bard College Professor Bradford Morrow has been awarded a 2003 O. Henry Prize for his short story "Lush," which was published in Ontario Review in its Fall/Winter 2002–2003 issue. Morrow, who is the founding editor of Conjunctions, the distinguished literary magazine published by Bard College, was among 20 of the world's most distinguished writers to receive the award, which is widely regarded as one of the nation's most prestigious awards for short fiction.

Tracking the emotional, physical, spiritual downfall of James Chatham and his doomed wife, Margot, "Lush" is also a story about the fragility of redemption. Told in two alternating voices—Chatham's, and that of Ivy Mattie, whose life was spared in the same accident that took Margot's—Morrow's story is both a harrowing cautionary tale and one about moral courage.

The O. Henry Prize is an annual award honoring the best short stories published in hundreds of literary magazines in that year. The prize was established in 1919 as a memorial to the great American short story master O. Henry, pen name of William Sydney Porter. Such classic works of American literature as Ernest Hemingway’s "The Killers" (1927); William Faulkner’s "Barn Burning" (1939); Carson McCuller’s "A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud"(1943); Shirley Jackson’s "The Lottery" (1949); J. D. Salinger’s "For Esme with Love and Squalor" (1963); John Cheever’s "The Country Husband" (1956); and Flannery O’Conner’s "Everything that Rises Must Converge" (1963) were O. Henry Prize stories.

This year, for the first time in the award's history, the contest was expanded to include international writers, making the competition even keener. The O. Henry Prize Stories 2003, edited by Laura Furman, will be published October 14 by Anchor Books. Many of this year's winners, including Morrow, will participate in a reading and book signing to celebrate the book's publication on October 24 in New York City. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Union Square.

Morrow is the author of five novels, including Trinity Fields, Giovanni's Gift, and Ariel's Crossing, as well as an illustrated children's book, A Bestiary, and several poetry collections. He is the founding editor of Conjunctions, the distinguished literary magazine published by Bard. He has edited numerous books, including, with Sam Hamill, The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth. Morrow has recently completed a children's book with cartoonist Gahan Wilson and is completing his first collection of short stories. He was a recipient in 1998 of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a member of the board of trustees of the PEN American Center from 1998–2002. He is a professor of literature and Bard Center Fellow at Bard College.

[Note to editors: To obtain review copies, please call Mark Primoff at 845-758-7412 or e-mail]

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This event was last updated on 08-06-2004