The Henfield Prize Stories

Book Card  -  Volume 23  -  Book Review Number 4  -  Tue, Mar 3, 1992 9:28 PM

TITLE: The Henfield Prize Stories
AUTHOR: Edited by John Birmingham, Laura Gilpin, and Joseph F. McCrindle
PUBLISHER: Warner Books, Inc.

It was a dark and stormy night. Betsy and I were driving through a torrent across the San Rafael Bridge and into the tiny town of Mill Valley. Eventually we found a bookstore, The Depot, and inside, lined up near a small podium, three authors giving a reading. This was precisely what we sought! For the final member of this trio, a woman with dark hair, a woman who captivated her audience with selections from her prize winning story, was none other than our own ex-Archipelagoan, Suzanne Juergensen.

It's true. Suzanne's prize-winning story is finally in print, and she's in VERY good company. The 23 stories in this collection were chosen from a decade's worth of Henfield winners. Those who value a good short story will find much to rejoice in here.

Suzanne's story, "Physics," is near and dear to my heart. It was written shortly after we first met, and the relationship depicted in the story partially resembles our relationship: a jaded woman who falls for an absurdly idealistic young man. I saw the first draft of this story, and the second, and the third. It is wry and funny - especially when read aloud. The small crowd in the bookstore actually begged to hear more!

The night was a triumph for Suzanne, a triumph long in coming, and the book would make a superb addition to the library of any Archipelagoan. It may be hard to find, collections of short stories usually are I'm afraid, but this one is worth the hunt.