In Anticipation of the BBC National Short Story Award

bbcnssa_2015_logo_webI almost loved my drive to work this morning. I spent thirty minutes in my car, amidst traffic which largely consists of trucks bearing down full speed on my little red Beetle, oblivious to the stress around me as I listened to “Briar Road” by Jonathan Buckley.

It is a marvelous story, narrated by a clairvoyant who has come to help a family deal with the disappearance of their daughter. The suspense is palpable, the tension exquisite. But, I have to listen to the other four to see which will become my favorite.

The short list includes these five stories:

  • ‘Briar Road’ by Jonathan Buckley – A psychic investigates the case of a missing teenager.
  • ‘Bunny’ by Mark Haddon – A morbidly obese young man makes an unlikely friend as his world shrinks around him.
  • ‘Broderie Anglaise’ by Frances Leviston – A tale of tensions between a mother and a daughter.
  • ‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’ by Hilary Mantel – An intruder hovers at a window hoping to catch a shot at Margaret Thatcher.
  • ‘Do It Now, Jump The Table’ by Jeremy Page – A young man meets his girlfriend’s parents for the first time – not knowing that they are nudists.

Booktrust says, “Interviews with each of the shortlisted writers will be broadcast over five weekdays on Front Row at 7.15pm from Friday 18 to Thursday 24 September 2015. Each writer’s story will be then be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 3.30pm on the following working day, from Monday 21 to Friday 25 September 2015Each story will also be available as a free download from the day of broadcast for 30 days.”

2015 short listSo, won’t you join me in listening to each story to determine your favorite? Here is the guide to each scheduled story. The winner will be announced October 6, so that gives us plenty of time to listen to them all.