Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Love Begins in Winter by Simon Von Booy 2009 Frank O'Connor Prize Winner

Love Begins in Winter by Simon Von Booy won the 2009 Frank O'Connor Prize given for best short story collection of the year.  I loved this collection.  I have previously read and posted on the lead story and was unable to resist when there was a one day only special on the book on Amazon for only $1.99.   I am very drawn to beauty and I was totally in thrall to the shimmering incandescent prose of Von Booy.  There are five interconnected stories in the collection.  I don't doubt I am not the only one who would have liked the stories to be titled but in the long run I think this requires you to be more creative in your reading of the stories.  The lead or connecting character is a famous cello player, from Paris, who travels world wide giving concerts.  He is a classical music super star.  Many of the lines of the stories could stand alone as aphoristic gems about music, love, and loneliness.  There is a wonderful subplot about "the bird man of Beverly Hills".  There is a kind of romance.  There is a truly heart breaking interlude of atonement by a grieving father.  

I hope to read more of Van Booy going forward.  

Simon Van Booy was born in Great Britain and grew up in rural Wales.  He is the author ofThe Secret Lives of People in Love, Love Begins in Winter (winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award) and the novel, Everything Beautiful Began After.  His latest novel is The Illusion of Separateness.

He is the editor of three philosophy books, titled Why We Fight, Why We Need Love, and Why Our Decisions Don’t Matter.  His essays have appeared in the New York TimesThe Daily TelegraphThe Times, The Guardian, and ELLE Men, (China), where he has a monthly column. He has also written for the stage, National Public Radio, and the BBC.  

Simon teaches part-time at SVA in Manhattan, and is involved in the Rutgers Early College Humanities Program for young adults living in under-served communities.  In 2013, he founded Writers for Children, an organization which helps young people build confidence in their talent, through annual writing awards.

He was a finalist for the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, and his work has been translated into more than fifteen languages.

He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.  From the author's web page.

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