Rochester, N.Y. — BOA Editions is excited to announce that The Rapture Index: A Suburban Bestiary by Molly Reid is on the longlist for the 2020 PEN America Literary Award PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection. PEN America announced the ten finalists for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize on their website this morning, December 13, 2019. This year’s judges for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize were Aimee Bender, Jamel Brinkley, Samantha Hunt, Randa Jarrar, and Elissa Schappell.
“I'm absolutely thrilled to be in such impressive company on the longlist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize,” said Reid. “I'm beyond honored that these judges read my work and saw something in it. Aimee Bender, Jamel Brinkley, and Samantha Hunt in particular are literary heroes for me, and it feels incredible to have their validation. As always, I'm grateful for all of the support from Peter Conners, Ron Martin-Dent, and the rest of the BOA team and the work they do to champion both new and established voices.”
The Rapture Index: A Suburban Bestiary is Molly Reid’s debut short story collection. It won the seventh annual BOA Short Fiction Prize in 2017 and was published by BOA Editions in May 2019. Loosely based on the medieval bestiary, The Rapture Index examines the relationship between animals, humans, and storytelling. Harnessing the bestiary’s combination of religious parable, encyclopedia, and artifice, Molly Reid journeys deep into suburbia to reveal characters struggling to fulfill the expectations of society and family while indulging their baser desires. Filled with moments of curiosity, misunderstanding, fervor, and heart, these stories offer a new twist on familiar landscapes where the wilderness has been tamed (sometimes just barely) but our own animal nature cannot be.
Molly Reid’s stories have appeared on NPR and in the journals TriQuarterly, Crazyhorse, The Pinch, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Redivider, and The Normal School, among others. She has received fellowship and residency support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Anderson Center, the Ucross Foundation, I-Park, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati, at work on a novel. For more information about Molly Reid, please visit mollyjeanreid.com.
PEN America, originally founded in 1922, dedicates itself to providing writers across the globe with the freedom to create, express, and convey critical views and information to the open ears of others. Since 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across diverse genres, including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. Awards are juried each year by panels of esteemed, award-winning writers, editors, translators, and critics.
Founded in 2002, the Robert W. Bingham Prize honors the late novelist, short story writer, and co-founder of Open City Books by celebrating debut short fiction collections. The prize is awarded each year to an author whose debut collection of short stories represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise for future work. Robert W. Bingham Prize winners receive a cash prize of $25,000.
Finalists for the Robert W. Bingham Prize will be announced in January 2020. Winners of this year’s PEN America Literary Awards will be celebrated at the 2020 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 2 at the New York City Town Hall, at 123 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036. For more information about this year’s PEN America literary awards, please visit pen.org.
BOA Editions, Ltd. is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning not-for-profit publisher based in Rochester, New York. Founded in 1976 by the late poet, editor, and translator A. Poulin, Jr. to provide a venue for both new and established poets to be published, BOA has released more than 300 titles, including more than two dozen books of poetry-in-translation. More information about BOA Editions can be found at www.boaeditions.org.