The winner of the $20,000 Story Prize, which "honors the author of an outstanding collection of short fiction," is Ling Ma for Bliss Montage (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). The other finalists were Andrea Barrett for Natural History (W.W. Norton) and Morgan Talty for Night of the Living Rez (Tin House), both of whom receives $5,000.
Organizers said that Ma's "collection blends speculative and realistic elements in narratives that frequently verge on the absurd and the surreal. Despite the often-comical situations Ma's characters find themselves in, these precise and skillful stories also reveal hard truths in a plain but elegant style that powerfully amplifies their revelations."
Ma's first book, the novel Severance (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), received the Kirkus Prize, a Whiting Award, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award.