2018 Lamar York Prize Winners and Finalists

We’re grateful for the abundance of imagination and artfulness in this year’s Lamar York Prize entries. Thank you to all of the writers who entered, with a special thanks to our judges, Sarah Gerard for Nonfiction and Alexander Weinstein for Fiction.

Winner for Fiction

“A Day in Which Something Might Be Done,” Michael McGuire

“A beautiful story reminiscent of the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Laura Esquivel. What captured me from the start was the confidence of the narrative voice and the lushness of the dream-sentences, which then give way to a story about love and healing, the inequities of indigenous life, and the prophecy of dreams. Gorgeous writing and masterful storytelling.”
—Alexander Weinstein

Winner for Nonfiction

“Concaves,” Deborah Thompson

“‘Concaves’ is a stirring recollection of love, cancer, racism, and war, interlocking like fluorescent-lit jigsaw pieces in a hospital waiting room. It is also a profound meditation on our metaphors for illness, as limited as they are necessary, and the tender connections among people bonded by grief. A penetrating reminder that life writes itself, it has continued to resonate with me long since I read the last word.”
—Sarah Gerard

Finalists for Fiction
“The Goddess of Beauty Goes Bowling,” Chaya Bhuvaneswar
“The Shark,” Dinah Cox
“The Hunger of the Very Rich,” Elizabeth Crowell
“Simultaneous Operations,” Wyatt Dowell
“Last Meal,” Molly Edmonds
“Deadly Astrologies,” Sacha Idell
“Schwinn King,” Terrance Manning
“Take Flight,” Connor McElwee
“Deadfalls,” Jeffrey Voccola

Finalists for Nonfiction
“The Wrack Line,” Mary Birnbaum
“Here Is How I Come Undone,” Caroline Burke
“26 Ways to Say Good-Bye,” Denise Duhamel and Julie Marie Wade
“The Future Perfect,” Michael Gracey
“Window Curtains,” Caitlin McGill
“Push,” Jeannine Ouellette
“How My Body Was Made,” Terry Ann Thaxton
“Biography of a Nickname,” Jeffrey Wasserboehr
“Specimen,” Amy Wright