NEW YORK, Jan 13 (Reuters) - National Book Award finalist George Saunders, award-winning writer Andrea Barrett and author Rebecca Lee were named as finalists on Monday for the annual Story Prize for short fiction.
Judges selected Saunders's "Tenth of December," Barrett's "Archangel," and "Bobcat" by Lee from nearly 100 books for the prestigious award that will be announced in New York on March 5. The winner will receive $20,000.
Author Ben Stroud, who teaches creative writing at the University of Toledo in Ohio, won The Story Prize Spotlight Award for "Byzantium." The $1,000 prize is for a collection of short stories that merits further attention.
"It's always difficult to choose just three books as finalists, and several other books we read would have made excellent choices," Larry Dark, the director of The Story Prize for short story collections, now in its 10th year, said in announcing the finalists.
Saunders, a previous finalist for the prize who teaches creative writing at Syracuse University in New York, examines how characters transcend flaws in "Tenth of December," a collection of 10 stories.
In "Archangel," five stories set between 1873 and 1939, Barrett looks at science and progress. A teacher at Williams College in Massachusetts, she won the 1996 U.S. National Book Award for her collection of short stories "Ship Fever" and was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for "Servants of the Map."
In "Bobcat," Lee, a professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, explores intellect and emotion.
Past winners of the prize include Claire Vaye Watkins, Mary Gordon, Jim Shepard, Tobias Wolff and Steven Millhauser. (Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Eric Kelsey and David Gregorio)