Kathmandu, April 29:

Noted Nepali writer Samrat Upadhyay, who recently came up with a collection of short stories entitled “The Royal Ghosts”, has been selected as a contender for the prestigious Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award from Ireland, a statement said today.

The prize, which is worth Euro 35,000, is the world’s richest short story award. Nuala Ní ChonChúir (Irish), Deborah Eisenberg (US), Haruki Murakami (Japan), and Segun Afolabi (Nigerian) are also in the fray. The winner’s name will be announced in September.

“The Royal Ghosts”, now available in Nepal, has been called “an enticing book to savour and re-read for all its nuances” by the Christian Science Monitor. The Los Angeles Times calls Upadhyay “among the smoothest and most noiseless of contemporary writers,” while the New York Times affirms his likeness to the famous Russian storyteller Anton Chekhov. The Indian Express has called The Royal Ghosts “a must read” and Upadhyay “a major writer-in-the-making.”