32-year-old Irishman Colin Barrett won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the richest prize available for a collection of short stories. The prize, which was inaugurated in 2000, will pay Barrett €25,000–or just over $34,000 USD. Young Skins is Barrett’s first collection. A taste of of Barrett’s fiction–in a story called “Stand Your Skin“–can be sampled at the American literary magazine A Public Space.
“Stand Your Skin” is among a total of seven stories included in the prize-winning collection, which features–as you will have guessed–mainly youthful characters. In the opening tale, “The Clancy Kid,” the narrator comes clean about the territory: “I am young, and the young do not number many here, but it is fair to say we have the run of the place.” Frank O’Connor, for whom the prize is named, was born in 1903 and wrote more than 150 works. He died at age 62.