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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Celebrated American authors Don DeLillo, Edith Pearlman and Steven Millhauser were named as finalists on Wednesday for the prestigious Story Prize, which honors collections of short fiction.
DeLillo, a National Book Award winner, was nominated for "The Angel Esmeralda" (Scribner), the first short story collection by the acclaimed writer of such best-sellers as "White Noise," "Libra" and "Falling Man."
Pearlman was nominated for "Binocular Vision" (Lookout Books), 13 new stories and 21 previous ones dating to 1976, while Pulitzer Prize-winner Millhauser got the nod for "We Others" (Alfred A. Knopf), a collection of 21 pieces dating back to 1981 and including seven new ones.
While the prize has often gone to lesser-known or relatively unsung writers, organizers noted that the 2011 nominees spoke to the form's enduring appeal.
"The notion that the short story is a beginner's form, one that novice writers cut their teeth on before turning to the more ambitious work of writing novels, is a common misconception," the prize's founder Julie Lindsey and director Larry Dark said in announcing the nominees.
"This year's finalists ... show that, to the contrary, top fiction writers often remain devoted to the demanding form of the short story throughout their careers."
Millhauser won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1997 for "Martin Dressler," DeLillo took home the 1985 National Book Award for "White Noise," while Pearlman was a National Book Award fiction finalist in 2011 for "Binocular Vision."
Previous winners, who receive $20,000, include Edwidge Danticat for "The Dew Breaker," Jim Shepard's "Like You'd Understand, Anyway," Tobias Wolff's "Our Story Begins" and last year's winner, "Memory Wall" by Anthony Doerr.
The Story Prize will be awarded in New York on March 21.
Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Christine Kearney