Brian Evenson Wins Shirley Jackson Award for Song for the Unraveling of the World

Writer and School of Critical Studies faculty Brian Evenson has been named the winner of a 2019 Shirley Jackson Award for his short horror fiction book Song for the Unraveling of the World (Coffee House Press, 2019).

Named for mystery and horror writer Shirley Jackson, the awards are annually voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics. Evenson’s book was the winning entry in the “single-author collection” category (see the full list of 2019 winners here).

Song for the Unraveling of the World is a 240-page collection of 22 of Evenson’s short stories that have appeared in various horror and literary fiction publications. With each narrative situated at the nexus of horror and science fiction, an NPR review noted how the book uniquely “manages to disturb the reader, to instill a sense of danger, a permeating feeling of confused anxiety.” The work was given a rare starred advance review by Publisher’s Weekly in June 2019: 

These stories are carefully calibrated exercises in ambiguity in which Evenson … leaves it unclear how much of the off-kilterness exists outside of the deep-seated pathologies that motivate his characters.

Song for the Unraveling of the World has also recently been announced as a finalist for a 2020 World Fantasy Award in the “collection” category.

Evenson’s previous works have also been named finalists for the Shirley Jackson Award, including his novella The Warren (2016) and his novels Windeye (2012) and Last Days (2009, Underland Press), the latter also a recipient of an ALA-RUSA Award.

Evenson, who also writes under nom de plume B.K. Evenson, is the author of more than a dozen fictional works like A Collapse of Horses (2015) and Ed Vs. Yummy Fur: Or What Happens When a Serial Comic Becomes a Graphic Novel (2014). He is also the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes, the 2006 International Horror Guild Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship.

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