Tahmima Anam makes BBC National Short Story Award Shortlist

Novelist Tahmima Anam has made the shortlist of the BBC National Short Story Award. She joins  Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel, poet and author Lavinia Greenlaw, short story writer KJ Orr,  and Claire-Louise Bennett in an all-female shortlist of the prestigious competition.

The shortlist of five stories was announced last week during BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.The winning author will receive £15,000, the runner-up £3,000, and three further shortlisted authors £500 each.

Selected from 478 entries, this year’s shortlist is:

  • ‘Garments’ by Tahmima Anam
  • ‘Morning, Noon & Night’ by Claire-Louise Bennett
  • ‘The Darkest Place in England’ by Lavinia Greenlaw
  • ‘In a Right State’ by Hilary Mantel
  • ‘Disappearances’ by KJ Orr



Ted Hodgkinson, Senior Programmer for Literature and the Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre and Award Judge says:

“These short stories catapult you through distinct lives, sensibilities and in just a few thousand words, expand the possibilities of the form. From illuminating the telling details in the everyday, to pitching us into hidden underworlds that exist in parallel to our own, these stories are full of insights, humour and revelations. Being part of the judging this year for an Award I’ve long admired has been a privilege, not to mention rich in discoveries.”

In Tahmima Anam’s ‘Garments‘, three ‘garment girls’ in Bangladesh attempt to find love, security and honour amidst the brutal reality of their lives. Unsentimental and direct, this story of female friendship was inspired by the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza in Dhaka in 2013.

Tahmima Anam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and educated at Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University. An anthropologist and novelist, her debut novel, A Golden Age, was winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She is a Contributing Opinion Writer for The New York Times and a judge for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.

You can listen to Garments read by Ayesha Dharker on BBC iPlayer.

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