Fiction writer Jim Shepard, who was the subject of upstreet's first author interview, has been awarded this year's Story Prize for his short-story collection, Like You'd Understand, Anyway (Knopf, 2007). The book, a collection of eleven first-person stories covering subjects ranging from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to a town's obsession with high-school football in contemporary Texas, was also one of five finalists for this year's National Book Award. Shepard, a 49-year-old English professor at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, was awarded $20,000, the largest first prize for any fiction contest in the country.
For those who live in the Berkshires and surrounding area, Shepard will read from his prize-winning work at 7:00 p.m. tonight (Thursday 6 March), at Gallery 51 in North Adams. Copies of his books will be available for purchase at the event, as will upstreet number one, which contains the interview with Shepard conducted by Frank Tempone in 2005.