Twin Cities writer, professor a finalist for prestigious book award


A Minneapolis writer and University of Minnesota professor is in the running to win the prestigious Story Prize for short story collections.

The organization announced on Wednesday the three finalists for this year's award, and among them is Charles Baxter for his collection "There's Something I Want You to Do."

The winner will be announced in New York on March 2, with the recipient taking home a $20,000 prize.

The New York Times review of the collection reveals the stories follow a group of Minneapolis citizens who "crave love and meaning and moral goodness while confined by shortcomings and idiosyncrasies of their own."

The Story Prize website says the 10 stories each have a one-word title "representing a virtue or a vice," with the several recurring characters finding themselves in situations where they end up making the request: "There's Something I Want You To Do."

The Star Tribune reports Baxter is the Edelstein-Keller Professor of Writing at the U and has attracted critical acclaim for his previous works – winning the Rea Award for Short Story in the past while his book "Feast of Love" was a finalist for a National Book Award.

His fellow finalists are Colum McCann, for "Thirteen Ways of Looking," and Adam Johnson, for "Fortune Smiles."

Johnson is a former winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, while McCann has won a National Book Award and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

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There are 36 finalists competing in nine categories.