A new work of fiction by Matthew Pitt, “A Shambles”, won the 2018 William Faulkner Short Story Prize. The work was selected by John Biguenet, an acclaimed author of novels, poetry, short fiction, and plays.
In his citation of the work, Biguenet notes: “’A Shambles’, by Matthew Pitt, is a demanding short story—both of its writer and of its reader. Its narrator teaches linguistics, and his attention to language and syntax expresses itself in a masterly crafted voice that is often lyrical but also often challenging for the reader. As he and his wife become acquainted with their new neighbors, recently arrived from Mexico, who introduce him to ornithology, birdsong entwines with the narrator’s voice as the melancholy subject of the story is revealed: the grief and guilt of parents over the suffering of their children. As he learns to name the birds that sweep the heavens in flight, he also comes to question the gods who dole out pain to such innocents and to ask how we should repay their cruelty.”
Matt will be presented with the award at the Faulkner Society Festival, taking place in New Orleans this September.