This collection of fourteen stories was chosen by Professor George P. Garrett from 230 entries to receive the sixth annual $1,000 Iowa School of Letters Award for Short Fiction. Garrett, the author of four collections of stories, lives in Maine and has also published books of poetry, literature, and film. He has successfully combined the roles of author and instructor. He most recently taught at Princeton.
About the winning book, Garrett says: "In Harry Belten and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, we find in wonderous plenty the full range of short story voices and possibilities. There is a bright originality casting long shadows of grand tradition. Barry Targan is a gifted artist who tells his stories with great energy and with graceful care. This is a rich and various gathering, an admirable addition to the small body of genuinely distinguished fiction made in and for our time.
"The winning book has in my judgment the best claim for its consistent excel
lence and maximum variety of character, setting, action, and implication within a unity
of personal experience and concerns. Targan is not overtly experimental, but he is strong, solid, graceful, and often very subtle." George P. Garrett