347 The Prisoner and His Prize – The Story of O Henry (with Jenny Minton Quigley)

William Sidney Porter (1862-1910) packed a lot of life into his 47 years, traveling from a childhood in North Carolina to work as a rancher and bank teller in Texas to a desperate escape to Honduras, where he hoped to avoid federal prosecution for embezzlement. Eventually he spent three years in prison, where he began writing short stories under the name “O. Henry.” By the time he emerged he was nationally famous, and his subsequent years in New York City, where he wrote “The Gift of the Magi” among many other popular stories, were highly productive. After his death, his friends started a prize in his name, and today the annual prize – along with the volume of prizewinning short stories – has become a fixture on the American literary landscape.

In this episode, Series Editor Jenny Minton Quigley joins Jacke to discuss O. Henry and the prize in his name, which has been retooled for 2021. Jenny describes the fiction she and her colleagues reviewed, the state of the American short story, and the influence that this year’s guest editor, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, had on the finished product, The Best Short Stories 2021: The O. Henry Prize Winners.

 

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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318 Lolita (with Jenny Minton Quigley)

Jacke hosts Jenny Minton Quigley, editor of the new collection LOLITA IN THE AFTERLIFE: On Beauty, Risk, and Reckoning with the Most Indelible and Shocking Novel of the Twentieth Century, for a discussion of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic (and controversial) 1958 novel.

Jenny Minton Quigley is the daughter of Lolita’s original publisher in America, Walter J. Minton.

Lolita in the Afterlife includes contributions by the following twenty-first century literary luminaries:

Robin Givhan • Aleksandar Hemon • Jim Shepard • Emily Mortimer • Laura Lippman • Erika L. Sánchez • Sarah Weinman • Andre Dubus III • Mary Gaitskill • Zainab Salbi • Christina Baker Kline • Ian Frazier • Cheryl Strayed • Sloane Crosley • Victor LaValle • Jill Kargman • Lila Azam Zanganeh • Roxane Gay • Claire Dederer • Jessica Shattuck • Stacy Schiff • Susan Choi • Kate Elizabeth Russell • Tom Bissell • Kira Von Eichel • Bindu Bansinath • Dani Shapiro • Alexander Chee • Lauren Groff • Morgan Jerkins

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.comjackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

New!!! Looking for an easy to way to buy Jacke a coffee? Now you can at paypal.me/jackewilson. Your generosity is much appreciated!

The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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