Paul Michaud – Feldman Prize in Fiction, 2021

"Padre Pio’s Other Miracle" is a subtle, funny, and—yes—miraculous story about a young American who joins an Italian monastery—only to find his stay disrupted by cultural tussles and the sudden onset of Covid-19 restrictions. But to describe the story this way reduces it to its mere plot elements, when "Padre Pio" in fact unfurls gradually, with close attention to the power structures of the monastery: how the "abbot always spoke in absolutes, and abused the word 'never'"; how the other monks suspect (correctly) that their American postulant is sneaking pastries at the local cafe. As a depiction of the rigors and pettiness of religious life, the story is flawless. The author’s prose is calm, beautiful, and ironic. One hopes to see more from this writer in the future.