Yay! Last night the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation announced this year's recipients of their writers' awards and one of the ten is Manuel Muñoz. His absolutely superb story collection The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue was published by Algonquin in May 2007 and, in a time of ever-shrinking book coverage, did not get the attention it deserves. Possibly hindered here by being a paperback original about gay, working class Mexican-Americans in rural California, the book nevertheless captured the attention of the judges of the world's richest story collection prize, The Frank O'Connor International Story Award in Cork, Ireland, where Muñoz beat out fellow long list nominees Alice Munro, David Malouf, and Mary Gordon for a spot on the short list but ultimately lost to Miranda July. The Whiting Awards are uncanny at honoring significant writers before they've gained widespread success. Now Muñoz joins the ranks of Jeffrey Eugenides, Michael Cunningham, Tony Kushner, Jonathan Franzen, William T. Vollmann, Deborah Eisenberg, Alice McDermott, David Foster Wallace, Alexander Chee, André Aciman, Colson Whitehead, Mark Doty, and Wayne Koestenbaum. He also receives $50,000, but what he really needs is a big publishing house to release his work in hardcover, promoting him with a serious budget as a major writer of immense importance.