July 25, 2007KR BlogUncategorized

Take Two

What do a CEO, performance artist, and actor have in common? Why, the Frank O’Connor shortlist. According to the Guardian, the world’s most pricey award for short story collections has shortlisted three “outsiders” for this year’s prize:

“Iceland’s Olaf Olafsson, shortlisted for Valentines, has published three novels but is better-known as the erstwhile CEO of both Sony Interactive Entertainment and Time Warner Digital Media. Simon Robson, the only British writer to make the shortlist, graduated from RADA and appeared briefly in EastEnders as a doctor; The Separate Heart and Other Stories is his first book. Miranda July, who found internet celebrity earlier this year when she built a website to promote her collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You, consisting of photographs of the top of her fridge, is best-known as the writer and director of the critically acclaimed film, Me and You and Everyone We Know.”

Rounding out the final six is New Zealand’s Charlotte Grimshaw for Opportunity, American author Manuel Mu??oz for The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, and Israel’s Etger Keret for Missing Kissinger.

Horatio Clare’s Gateway Drug: Books. In Sunday’s Times, writer Clare blames books for his bad-boy behavior, but not those you’re likely to find in this wildly popular tome. No, Clare blames Richard Holmes’ Coleridge: Early Visions for his attempt to extract his mother’s poppies with a razor blade (“Wrong sort of poppies, fortunately,” he adds). And the French writers have a lot to answer for: “Without Rimbaud I would never have mixed absinthe, kiwis, something called dragon fruit from Waitrose and whisky in one glass, and kept at it until I passed out. Thanks Arthur, I still lisp.”