Manuel Muñoz Wins Joyce Carol Oates Prize

Apr 22, 2023
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Kirkus Reviews (by Michael Schaub).

Manuel Muñoz has won the Joyce Carol Oates Prize, given annually to “a mid-career fiction writer who has earned a distinguished reputation and the approbation and gratitude of readers.” The New Literary Project, which bestows the award, announced Muñoz’s win in a news release.

Muñoz made his literary debut in 2003 with Zigzagger, a short story collection that focused on queer people living in California’s Central Valley. He followed that book up with another collection, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, which received a Kirkus star.

In 2011, Muñoz published his first novel, What You See in the Dark. His latest book, the story collection The Consequences, came out last year. It also earned a Kirkus star, with a critic praising its “nuanced, thoughtful, often moving stories.”

In a statement, Oates, who sits on the New Literary Project’s board of directors, said, “I was struck immediately by the beauty, poise, and effortless empathy of The Consequences.…As one who much appreciates the art of the short story, I was filled with admiration for a writer who creates an entire world within the space of a few pages, with seeming effortlessness.”

Muñoz expressed his gratitude in a statement, saying, “I am deeply grateful to receive the Joyce Carol Oates Prize and doubly so because I was eleven years between books and without a publisher for a time.”

The Joyce Carol Oates Prize, named after the prolific and acclaimed author, comes with a cash award of $50,000. It was first awarded in 2017, to T. Geronimo Johnson; other winners have included Laila Lalami, Danielle Evans, and Lauren Groff.

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