Danuta Gleed Literary Award 2005

Writers' Union
Press Release

Danuta Gleed Award 2005

The Writers’ Union of Canada and John Gleed are pleased to announce that Charlotte Gill is the recipient of the $10,000 Danuta Gleed Literary Award for Ladykiller (Thomas Allen Publishers). Judged the best first English-language collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2005.

The Judges Greg Hollingshead, Dave Margoshes and Judith McCormack said of their first choice, “Ladykiller, is a startling collection of stories that explores some of the darker undercurrents of urban existence. Charlotte Gill’s characters – reckless, restless, predatory, self-destructive and stuck in relationships and situations they don’t know they’ve chosen – inhabit a bleak emotional landscape where being angry is the only way they can feel anything at all as they inch towards disaster, unable to stop themselves. Gill writes with skill, flare and a certain hard precision, producing mercurial prose. This is a striking debut.”

Runners-up Craig Davidson and Jacqueline Honnet will each receive $500.

"The people in Rust and Bone (Viking Canada) lead grim, often violent lives. When they are not struggling with amputation, illness or addiction, they are testing their mettle in boxing rings and dogfights. This is territory Craig Davidson, a young writer of remarkable reach and flex, handles with assurance, bringing home the rawness and despair of their world with authentic detail. The best of these stories are simply terrific: visceral, eloquent, wise, generous, both grim and hilarious. Davidson takes chances. He is on his way to big things,” commented the judges.

Of Jacqueline Honnet’s Limbo (Turnstone Press) the judges had this to say, “Warm fictions seem touched by the light and soft breezes of the Bahamas she springs from, imbuing them with the smells of goatfish and salt air, the sounds of cicadas. Her young women, portrayed in supple prose that is almost mesmerizing in places, meet challenges in relationship, friendship, and family with quirky wit and humane intelligence. These are enjoyable, personal stories that surprise with gem-sharp moments of insight, comedy, and grace. Limbo (Turnstone Press) marks an appealing start for a promising new writer.”

Goran Simic and Vivette Kady receive honourable mention.The judges held that “Goran Simic infuses the stories of Yesterday's People (Biblioasis) with fable-like simplicity while exploring complex lives touched by war and tragedy. Bosnian-born Simic brings a poet’s sensibility and a sense of assurance not typical of a debut collection to these memorable stories.”

”The middle-aged woman who goes out for a latte and gets a tattoo instead is typical of the quirky, very human characters populating the stories in South African-born Vivette Kady's Most Wanted (The Porcupine’s Quill),” the judges observed. “Her stories are surprising, often exhilarating and always a pleasure to read.

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.


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