People Like You Wins Balcones Fiction Prize

Balcones Logo

I am ecstatic to announce that PEOPLE LIKE YOU was awarded the 2015 Balcones Fiction Prize. There were some fantastic books on the shortlist with me, and I am humbled to be in their company.

Biggest of thanks to Joe O’Connell at Balcones Center for Creative Writing and to this year’s judge John Blair, author of the Drue Heinz Prize winning collection American Standard, who had this to say:
“Margaret Malone’s People Like You is a masterfully minimalist collection of lives lived poorly but with the best of intentions. Her stories are powerful, sad, and plain-spoken, and this debut collection takes the normative-yet-desperate circuits of the day-to-day that Bobbie Anne Mason and Frederick Barthelme brought to the forefront of American short fiction and makes them both new again and powerfully affecting.  These are marvelous and worthy stories, and very much deserving of recognition.”

I am totally blown away by this award, and really looking forward to coming down to Austin next Spring.

Thank you all so very much.

Best Day of My Literary Life – PEN Hemingway Ceremony

Today was an extraordinary day.

It started with a private tour of the Ernest Hemingway archives at the JFK Library. Wow. Super duper wow. (Sidenote: If you will be in Boston anytime before the end of the year, please go through this phenomenal exhibit.)

Then lunch at a table with, in a room with, some of the most talented American writers, who, it turns out, are also funny and charming and kind in a variety of ways.

Then the award ceremony where Joshua Ferris, presenter and a judge, along with Alexandra Marshall and Jay Parini, of this year’s PEN Hemingway award read aloud the citation from the judges for People Like You. I could not breathe as he read the following paragraph:

PEN Award Framed

And then I couldn’t breathe for two seconds after that either because, oh my sweet stars, did they just put the names Chekhov, Carver, Beattie, Moore and Twain in a sentence about People Like You? But I had no time to not breathe because I had to walk up onstage and accept the certificate and shake hands and pose for a picture and then somehow walk, without falling, all the way back to my seat, and the whole time my heart is not thumping along in my chest cavity the way it’s supposed to. No, it’s flailing, kicking, pushing, punching so loud I wanted to audibly ask it to shush please. But then I thought better of it and thanked my heart for reminding me what an undeniably extraordinary beautiful moment was happening… to me. Right that second.

Nothing left to do, then, but to simply take it all in.

My deepest gratitude to PEN New England; to judges Joshua Ferris, Alexandra Marshall, and Jay Parini; to the winner Ottessa Moshfegh, my fellow finalist S.M. Hulse, and honorable mention honorees Karim Dimechkie and Chigozie Obioma; to the crazy talented editor and publisher Mark Allen Cunningham of Atelier26 Books; to Diane Prokop, publicist extraordinaire; and most importantly to Brian Padian who kept the home fires burning (and the kids from burning the house down) so I could be in Boston, and he not only never once complained but told me again and again of how proud he was, of how much I deserved it, of how hard I’ve worked, of how much he loved me.

All of you, you changed my life today. Really.

Thank you.

OPB’s State of Wonder Keeps Me in Good Company

OPB’s April Baer put together this week’s State of Wonder show and included an interview with me and the sensational PEN Hemingway honor news in a show with some of the most talented folks I know of, including Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Esperanza Spalding, and Sharon Olds.

Wow!

Listen to the full show here. 

Many thanks to OPB and April Baer and John Sepulvado for their tireless support of People Like You and for their enthusiasm at the PEN news. Thanks guys!!

PEOPLE LIKE YOU Receives PEN/Hemingway Honors

I am dumbstruck and elated to report that PEOPLE LIKE YOU was selected a Finalist in the PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction.

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From the PEN/New England site:

FINALISTS

The two PEN/Hemingway Award finalists are S. M. Hulse for Black River (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Margaret Malone for People Like You (Atelier26).

***

 

Suddenly I find myself in the company of other past winners, finalists and honorable mentions… you know, authors like George Saunders, Edward P. Jones, Jhumpa Lahiri, Colson Whitehead, ZZ Packer, Jennifer Haigh, Marilynne Robinson, Ha Jin, Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, Yiyun Li, Lily King, Justin Cronin, Ben Fountain, Teju Cole, Mitchell S. Jackson, and many, many other mind-blowing writers.

Biggest of thanks to PEN New England and this year’s judges, Joshua Ferris, Alexandra Marshall, and Jay Parini.

And big, big congratulations to the winner Ottessa Moshfegh for her book EILEEN (Penguin), my co-Finalist S.M. Hulse for BLACK RIVER (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and honorable mention authors Karim Dimechkie for LIFTED BY THE GREAT NOTHING (Bloomsbury), and Chigozie Obioma for THE FISHERMEN (Little, Brown).

Lastly, never ending thanks to Atelier26 Books, the little engine that could, and Mark Allen Cunningham for making this impossible undreamed-of dream a reality.

To say I’m humbled doesn’t begin to do justice to what I feel today.

 

Here’s the full post at PEN/Hemingway Award

Here’s the full post at Atelier26 Books

Propeller Magazine Interview

Alex Behr and I went to have tea on a Saturday inside a now-defunct caboose in Southeast Portland.

The place is usually quiet and comfortable but for some reason on the afternoon of our interview, the place was crawling with high school kids hanging out there, talking and laughing and mostly on their phones, and then leaning over to show each other things on their phones.

It ended up being the perfect imperfect place to talk about writing and editing and character and craft and film and photography, and the result is this wonderful piece Alex has written for Propeller Magazine on PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

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You can read the full interview here at Propeller.

Emerging Writers Network

Got the best valentine this year:

Dan Wickett, co-founder of Dzanc Books, featured the story “Sure Footing” from PEOPLE LIKE YOU on his long-standing Emerging Writers Network site as a Work of the Day.

For those of you who might not know, Dan Wickett has spent years bringing attention to emerging writers in literature and their books. He is a truly legendary figure among writers.

I’m honored he included a story from the collection on his site.

Thanks so much, Dan.

 

NewPages Review is up for People Like You

If you’re a writer, especially of short fiction and/or essays, you are a big fan of the folks at New Pages – the preeminent gathering place of literary magazines, independent presses, indie bookstores… you get the idea.

The NewPages review came out this morning for PEOPLE LIKE YOU and I couldn’t more excited to share it with you. Especially because it has this awesome line in it:

“…put a post-it note on your forehead with Margaret Malone’s name on it. You won’t want to miss her next act.”

Big big thanks to NewPages.com for continuing their legacy of reaching out past the big publishing houses and writers to connect readers and working writers with the world. And thanks to writer David Breithaupt for the close read and the beautiful review.

Go here for the full review.