I was shocked when I received the O. Henry Prize. In fact, I thought the notification was junk e-mail and nearly deleted it. I remember browsing through those yearly anthologies as a youngster in the Muskogee, OK, Public Library after I first became fascinated with short stories. Of course I never imagined I'd one day join that list of famous and not-so-famous. To do so seems like making, in some small way, your small notch in American literature, and for this I am very grateful. The widespread familiarity with the series among people whom I thought had no idea of its existence floored me.
(author photo © Mark Holm/The Albuquerque Tribune)