In what may be a sign for the Iowa Caucuses later this week, the voting for Story of the Year was extremely close. In fact, Story of the Year honors must be shared by Antonya Nelson's "Or Else" and Paul Theroux's "Mr. Bones" (but it must be acknowledged that T Cooper's "Swimming" was only 1 vote behind, and would have been a worthy champion).
I find the results interesting. First, let me say that I didn't vote for either one, so I can't be accused of influencing the outcome. Second, I nearly didn't even include the Theroux story in the Top-Ten and almost left them both out of the Top-Five, except that they were both fan favorites and many people left comments about them both.
"Mr. Bones", you may remember, is about an ordinary, if dysfunctional, family of the '50s, the father of which begins to perform in a minstrel show. He eventually quits, but the family is forever changed. "Or Else" is about a young man from an unpleasant home who from childhood has insinuated himself into the family of a friend, and despite his violations of their trust can't let them go.
In any event, the people have spoken. Congratulations Ms. Nelson and Mr. Theroux!