May 13, 2011 — Paul Theroux's short story, "Minor Watt," netted the Virginia Quarterly Review a fiction award from the American Society of Magazine Editors. The 2011 National Magazine Awards, or "Ellies," as they are known, were presented on May 9 at the annual awards ceremony in New York City.
"Minor Watt" was published in the spring 2010 edition. The title refers to the main character, a wealthy real estate developer and art collector, whose behavior toward his collection changes after his divorce.
Theroux's story was one of two VQR nominations in the fiction category. With the two short stories, the journal had six nominations total. The journal was also nominated in the category of "General Excellence" in literary, political and professional magazines. (For the full list, see the journal's blog.)
In March, VQR won a 2011 National Magazine Award for Digital Media in the multimedia package category for its interactive project, "Assignment Afghanistan."
The awards event was hosted by Katie Couric, anchor of the "CBS Evening News" and also a U.Va. alumna, and was attended by more than 700 magazine editors and publishers.
The "Ellies" are named for an Alexander Calder sculpture, "Elephant," replicas of which are presented to the winners.
Theroux is the author of more than 40 books, including the novels "Blinding Light," "Hotel Honolulu," "My Other Life," "Kowloon Tong," "The Mosquito Coast" and most recently, "A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta." Among his nonfiction works are: "The Great Railway Bazaar," "The Old Patagonian Express," "Riding the Iron Rooster" and "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star." He lives in Hawaii and Cape Cod, Mass.