Miranda gets Frank

25th September 2007 by Maura McHugh

The Guardian reports that American writer, playwright, performance artist, and film-maker Miranda July won the 2007 Frank O’Connor award this weekend for her collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You.

Miranda wins €35,000, and the accolades of the jury.

The chairman of the judges, Pat Cotter, who had earlier defended the shortlist as a demonstration of the judges’ independence, hailed Miranda July as a worthy winner.

“The award has been won by a book of original genius,” he said, “a book which we believe will endure for a long time.”

Perhaps, as the daughter of two Californian writers, it was only a matter of time before July turned her talents to fiction. Born in 1974, she began working as a playwright, adding music and video to create a style of multimedia performance she describes as “live movie”. Her first feature-length film, the quirky romance Me and You and Everyone We Know, won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and four prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Caméra d’Or.

No One Belongs Here More Than You is a collection full of a similar type of fantasy, but underpinned with a new toughness, an awareness of the real world that underlies the characters’ rich inner lives.

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