Announcing the Winner of BOMB’s 2017 Fiction Contest

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Kristen Gleason

Kristen Gleason.

BOMB hosts a yearly literary contest, alternating between fiction and poetry, and judged by a distinguished writer in the field. This year’s contest attracted a wealth of vibrant, compelling stories, and it is with great pleasure that we announce the winner, Kristen Gleason, whose work was selected by novelist Paul La Farge.

Gleason is a writer from California. Her fiction has appeared in A Public SpaceThe White ReviewFence, and elsewhere. In 2016, she was an Emerging Writer Fellow for A Public Space. She currently lives in Georgia.

In his judge’s statement, La Farge offered the following praise of Gleason’s work:

The stories I like best are often the ones that slip out of your grasp: you think you’ve got hold of the characters, the situation, the language, then something wriggles and the story vanishes like a fish in a flash of silver, swimming away from you to some place you can hardly imagine. Kristen Gleason’s “Mumbai” is one of those. It’s at home in this world and in another, a place of glasses-snatching thieves and living boats and one miraculous basketball, a place that feels real while you’re in it but which extends in shadowy directions not yet visited by actual people. It’s a story about love and blindness but also, for me, about the upswelling of the imagination, the way the world burgeons with mystery. I can’t tell you how it was done but I’m glad to have read it.

Gleason’s story “Mumbai” will appear in BOMB’s upcoming fall issue. 

Mumbai by Kristen Gleason
Gleason Bomb 141
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Mumbai by Kristen Gleason
Gleason Bomb 141

When he could no longer stand her chatter—in France I made myself a dress of leaves stitched together with stems and I wore it by that river, the big one, the sludge, and that’s how I met many interesting boyfriends from the National Geographic Magazine—he left Nancy on the hotel roof with the chef from Mumbai.

BOMB’s Biennial Fiction Contest 2017
Paul La Farge Bomb 01

Our fiction contest returns. We are pleased to announce guest judge Paul La Farge, author of The Night Ocean. His recently published novel has received near universal praise; Gary Shteyngart calls it “the best novel of the year, almost any year.”