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Brand Taylor wins Story Prize for 'Filthy Animals'

The win is Brandon Taylor's first, although he was nominated for the Booker Prize for his debut novel 'Real Life'
The win is Brandon Taylor's first, although he was nominated for the Booker Prize for his debut novel 'Real Life'   -   Copyright  AP/AP
By Tim Gallagher  with AP

Brandon Taylor's ‘Filthy Animals’ has won the Story Prize, a $20,000 honour for collections of short fiction.

Taylor, whose 2020 debut novel ‘Real Life’ was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, was one of three finalists selected from 119 short story collections released in 2021.

The finalists, Lily King for ‘Five Tuesdays in Winter’ and J. Robert Lennon for ‘Think of Me,’ will each receive $5,000.

"Taylor is incredibly attuned to the slightest shift in the emotional weather in his characters and writes with absolute precision and compassion about their desires, vulnerabilities, failings, joys, and longings," prize judges wrote in a statement Wednesday.

"His careful attention makes these very ordinary people extraordinary. His sentences are finely tuned, his language subtle and gorgeous."

Six of Taylor’s 11 stories in ‘Filthy Animals’ centre on a group of common characters: Lionel, a PhD candidate in mathematics who has taken a leave of absence after a suicide attempt who encounters Charles and Sophie, two dancers trapped in a toxic relationship.

The Story Prize was established in 2004 and previous winners include Lauren Groff, Anthony Doerr, Edwidge Danticat, and Elizabeth Strout.