One of the most prestigious awards of its kind, the
Drue Heinz Literature Prize was established in 1980 to encourage and support the
reading and writing of short fiction. Over the past twenty years judges such as
Robert Penn Warren, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Russell
Banks, Alice McDermott, and Frank Conroy have selected the best collections from
the hundreds submitted annually by up-and-coming writers.
The Drue Heinz Literature Prize has helped launch the careers of a score of
previously "undiscovered" writers, many of whom have enjoyed great commercial
success as well as critical acclaim, earning favorable reviews in publications
such as the New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal,
Newsweek, and the Chicago Tribune.
20 is a culmination of twenty years of excellence in short fiction
writing. It celebrates the hopes, dreams, and individual successes of all
the authors who participated in the contest through the past two decades. The
Drue Heinz Literature Prize's mission supports and recognizes those writers
brave enough to tackle the challenging genre of short fiction. The stories
contained in this volume stand as proof: mission accomplished.
Past winners of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize:
David Bosworth, selected by Robert Penn Warren; Robley Wilson, selected by
Raymond Carver; Jonathan Penner, selected by Wright Morris; Randall Silvis,
selected by Joyce Carol Oates; W. D. Wetherell, selected by Max Apple; Rick
DeMarinis, selected by Alison Lurie; Ellen Hunnicutt, selected by Nadine
Gordimer; Reginald McKnight, selected by Margaret Atwood; Maya Sonenberg,
selected by Robert Coover; Rick Hillis, selected by Russell Banks; Elizabeth
Graver, selected by Richard Ford; Jane McCafferty, selected by John Edgar
Wideman; Stewart O'Nan, selected by Tobias Wolff; Jennifer Cornell, selected by
Alice McDermott; Geoffrey Becker, selected by Charles Baxter; Edith Pearlman,
selected by Rosellen Brown; Katherine Vaz, selected by George Garrett; Barbara
Croft, selected by Bharati Mukherjee, Lucy Honig, selected by Charles Johnson;
and Adria Bernardi, selected by Frank Conroy.
20 represents the best of the best-one story from each of the prize-winning
volumes. Chosen by acclaimed author John Edgar Wideman, the selections cover a
broad range of inventive and original characters, settings, and emotions,
charting the evolution of the short story over the past two decades.
John Edgar Wideman grew up in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, the setting
for several of his novels and stories. A former Rhodes scholar, his work has
been widely praised for its vivid and lyrical language, and his reviews and
critical articles have appeared in a number of publications. He is the author,
most recently, of Hoop Dreams.