Danuta Gleed Award 2006


The Writers’ Union of Canada and John Gleed are pleased to announce that Nathan Sellyn is the recipient of the $10,000 DANUTA GLEED LITERARY AWARD for Indigenous Beasts (Raincoast Books) judged the best first English-language collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2006.

The judges Jack Hodgins, Lisa Moore and Robyn Sarah said of their first choice, Indigenous Beasts: “The dark, compelling stories in Nathan Sellyn's Indigenous Beasts explore violence, masculinity, abandonment and abandon. A slowly torqued sense of peril fuels his finely crafted, exquisitely controlled prose. The dialogue is urgent, the brutality tempered by understatement, and the stories move towards closing sentences that often resonate with a subtle metaphoric subtext. In Indigenous Beasts, Nathan Sellyn presents us with convincing characters, an admirably diverse collection of voices, a strong sense of place, and a close, ultimately compassionate examination of those on the fringes of society.”

Runners-up Vincent Lam and Russell Wangersky will each receive $500.

“In Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures Vincent Lam is both unflinching and humane in his portrayal of a working world and the pressures it exerts on those who have earned the right to call it their own. Lam's cast is memorable and endearing: his medical students and young doctors reveal themselves as complicated human beings – driven, vulnerable, bold, and morally sophisticated. His prose seems relaxed and patient, and yet it creates a strong sense of urgency. While exploring the shifting borders between the physical and the spiritual, the ethical and the sacred, these stories vibrate with authenticity,” commented the judges.

Of Russell Wangersky's, The Hour of Bad Decisions (Coteau Books) the judges had this to say: “Russell Wangersky's title, The Hour of Bad Decisions, prepares us for an intimate portrait of lives suspended in crisis or driven by irresistible forces. In this world built of evocative textures and intense images, we smell the spruce woods, hear the water running through the pipes of the attached house, see striped shadows cast by the sun through window blinds, and sense the compulsion to do harm, so long-lived as to be almost devoid of emotion and perhaps inevitable. These richly imagined stories are written with authority and an empathy that exceeds compassion.”

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 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, visit www.writersunion.ca.