Danuta Gleed Award 2004
The Writers’ Union of Canada and John Gleed are pleased to announce that David Bezmozgis is the recipient of the $10,000 Danuta Gleed Literary Award for Natasha: And Other Stories (HarperFlamingoCanada). Judged the best first English-language collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2004.
Judges Joan Clark, Curtis Gillespie and Janice Kulyk Keefer said of Natasha: And Other Stories: “This cycle of elegant short stories about a family of Russian Jews who immigrated to Toronto during the 1980's is as powerful in voice and vision as it is consummate in style. Bezmozgis charts the family's life with acuity and passion, showing how loyalty is tested and family pride undone. This is a debut comparable with Munro's Dance of the Happy Shades and Gallant's The Other Paris; Bezmozgis has the makings of a major literary artist.”
Ramona Dearing receives $500 for So Beautiful (The Porcupine’s Quill). The Jury said of their second choice: “ In her first book Ramona Dearing has shown us her ability to almost effortlessly touch the core of what matters. She is a funny and serious writer, a writer who asks all the right questions while being smart enough to never pretend she owns the answers.”
Kelly Cooper will also receive $500 for Eyehill (Goose Lane Editions). “Kelly Cooper has taken a small prairie town and turned it into a universe,” the Jury said. “Every character in this lovely book, major or minor, is a unique creation. It is rare to find a first book written with such a natural and deft touch.”
Off Centre by Caroline Shepard was well received by the Jury: “Caroline Shepherd writes with great assurance and delicacy, moving seamlessly between Africa and North America in her mapping of unexpected cultural, geographical and emotional territory. These are stories to open our hearts as well as our eyes.”
Of Carrie Snyder’s Hair Hat the jury commented: “Carrie Snyder’s transformative fiction lifts the ordinary to the extraordinary. Quixotic and insightful, her stories are both subtle and wise. Snyder is a writer who knows how to charm and surprise.”
The Danuta Gleed Literary Award is given in celebration of the life of Danuta Gleed, a writer whose short fiction won several awards before her death in December 1996. Danuta Gleed’s first collection of short fiction, One of the Chosen, was posthumously published by BuschekBooks. The Award is made possible through a generous donation from John Gleed; founder of JetForm Inc., in memory of his late wife, and is administered by The Writers' Union of Canada.
The Writers' Union of Canada is our country's national organization representing professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well being of all writers. For more information, please visit www.writersunion.ca.