Brandon Taylor has won the Story Prize, given annually to a collection of short stories, for his book Filthy Animals.
Taylor was named the winner at a livestreamed ceremony Wednesday evening. He beat out two other authors for the award: Lily King for Five Tuesdays in Winter and J. Robert Lennon for Let Me Think.
Taylor’s collection was previously shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. In a starred review, a critic for Kirkus wrote of the book, “Taylor tackles a variety of taboos and articulates the comfortless sides of the soul, and it’s thrilling to watch.”
Taylor was selected as the winner by a panel of three judges: writers Dev Aujla, David Kipen, and Kirstin Valdez Quade.
“Taylor is incredibly attuned to the slightest shift in the emotional weather in his characters and writes with absolute precision and compassion about their desires, vulnerabilities, failings, joys, and longings,” the judges said in a statement. “His careful attention makes these very ordinary people extraordinary. His sentences are finely tuned, his language subtle and gorgeous.”
Taylor, overcome with emotion, thanked his agent, editor, friends, and fellow short story writers as he accepted the prize.
“I am so grateful,” he said. “Thank you so much for this. It means the world to me.”
The Story Prize was established in 2004. Previous winners have included Anthony Doerr for Memory Wall, Claire Vaye Watkins for Battleborn, and Deesha Philyaw for The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.