Paul Yoon has won this year’s Story Prize for The Hive and the Honey.

March 27, 2024, 10:38am

Paul Yoon has won the 20th annual Story Prize for his collection The Hive and the Honey, after being named to a list of three finalists in January. The judges—Merve Emre, Allison Escoto, and Tania James—had this to say about the winner:

The Hive and The Honey is a collection of astonishing breadth, offering a panoramic portrait of Korean diaspora, of lives rescued from the margins of history. These characters reveal themselves most acutely through intimate gestures, moments that infuse the ordinary with lasting wonder and could only be achieved by a writer as patient, curious, and masterful as Paul Yoon.

The genius of the collection lies in its steadiness of style—Yoon’s prose is quiet and fine and, at times, painfully precise—and its variety of genre. Domestic realism sits alongside folk tales, ghost stories, and imperial histories. The present is haunted by the past, and the past is violently and beautifully summoned in the present.

The Story Prize, which seeks to recognize the best short story collection published every year, brings with it a $20,000 purse; runners-up Yiyun Li and Bennett Sims each received $5,000. Previous winners include Edwidge Danticat, Steven Millhauser, Claire Vaye Watkins, George Saunders, Lauren Groff, Deesha Philyaw, Brandon Taylor, and Ling Ma.

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