The Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction for 2014 goes to Bryn Chancellor for her manuscript, When Are You Coming Home?. She will receive a $3,000 prize and publication by the University of Nebraska Press. Chancellor’s short fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Blackbird, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Phoebe, and elsewhere. In 2014, she was selected as the Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange winner in fiction, and she received a Literary Arts Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Previous honors include a fellowship and a project grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. A graduate of Vanderbilt University's MFA program, she is an assistant professor at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. She is married to the artist Timothy Winkler.
About The Book
Humans have always connected deeply to the idea of home. In Bryn Chancellor’s nine stories, home means, in part, the physical spaces: the buildings, cities and towns, the fragile, imperious landscapes of the region. But home is also profoundly rooted in intangibles. Set in urban and rural Arizona, home, for the characters in these stories, is love—familial, romantic, and unrequited. It is loss and grief. It is the memories that surface late at night. It is mystery and longing and a shining flicker of hope.
In the title story, a locksmith prowls empty houses and befriends a young mother as he and his wife grapple with a tragedy perpetrated by their son. During an overseas trip, a daughter grieving for her father struggles with her mother’s altered appearance; an irrigation worker meets a troubled teenage girl in the darkness of her flooded yard; and a daughter and her estranged, ailing mother stay in a dilapidated cabin while a mountain lion stalks the woods. Through chance meetings between strangers, collisions within families, and confrontations with the self, these characters leave and return, time and again, trying desperately to find their way home.