The Writers' Union of Canada is pleased to announce the short list of nominees for the twenty-second annual DANUTA GLEED LITERARY AWARD. The Award recognizes the best first collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2018 in the English language. The Award consists of cash prizes for the three best first collections, with a first prize of $10,000 and two additional prizes of $500.
The jury this year comprised authors Heather O’Neill, Ayelet Tsabari, and Richard Van Camp, who determined the short list from 20 collections submitted, some by seasoned writers, others by authors being published for the first time. Those finalists are:
- Paige Cooper, Zolitude, A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis
- Erin Frances Fisher, That Tiny Life, House of Anansi Press Inc.
- Djamila Ibrahim, Things Are Good Now, House of Anansi Press Inc.
- Carrianne Leung, That Time I Loved You, HarperCollins Publisher Ltd.
- Marianne Micros, Eye, Guernica Editions Inc.
The winners will be announced on June 1 at the OnWords conference in Halifax.
The Award was created as a 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, in memory of his late wife, and is administered by The Writers’ Union of Canada.
Jury Comments on the Finalists for the
2018 DANUTA GLEED LITERARY AWARD
Paige Cooper, Zolitude (A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis)
Zolitude is so obviously written by a young author, experimenting wildly with subject matter and technique, and exhibiting raw talent and breathtaking writing. Zolitude is a book of short stories that demand to be read slowly like poetry, each image being at once perplexing and containing prisms of meaning. Cooper’s portraits of young women and the way their bodies merge their identities with one another and are at once invisible and present in every object they touch are so wonderful. Cooper’s descriptions of lost girls in foreign lands are reminiscent of the melancholy meanderings of Jean Rhys, but are wholly new.
Erin Frances Fisher, That Tiny Life (House of Anansi Press Inc.)
That Tiny Life by Erin Frances Fisher is a book built of exquisite details. They all demand to be looked at under the microscope of Fisher’s penetrating and irresistible prose. And when examined, the meaning is so stunning, you are enraptured by the grand themes tackled in each story. The juxtaposition of small and large, nature and science, cowboys and space travelers renders the reading experience of this book startling and exhilarating, making you rejoice in the perplex mystery of your own tiny life.
Djamila Ibrahim, Things Are Good Now (House of Anansi Press Inc.)
Situated at the intersection of the political and the personal, the moving stories in Things Are Good Now tell of immigrants and refugees, freedom fighters, and civil servants. The characters in Djamila Ibrahim’s collection are grasping for a better future amidst the chaos of displacement and the burden of memory. Fiercely emotional and richly rendered, Things are Good Now highlights our universal need to belong, our struggle to come to terms with our pasts, and the complexity and intensity of human connection. A necessary and captivating read.
Carrianne Leung, That Time I Loved You (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)
In That Time I Loved You, Carrianne Leung skillfully captures the desires and anguish that lie beneath the surface of seemingly peaceful suburban lives. Set in 1970s’ Scarborough, in a neighbourhood inhabited by immigrants, these beautifully conceived linked stories tell of love and secrets, racism and violence, and reveal the fragility of belonging and the pain of growing up. This is an exquisite and original collection, told with great empathy and glimmering with magic and hope.
Marianne Micros, Eye (Guernica Editions Inc.)
There's a terrifying alchemy braided through each of these stories. It feels like you're being chased by something cold and ancient and cunning wanting to play with you in the forest of your dreams. These stories are sweet riddles and you're continually dared to see if you have it in you to read just one more, just one more. Eye is bursting with secrets, old world wisdoms and deals made at midnight. We loved it and we can't wait to see what Marianne Micros will create next.
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.
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DATE: May 7, 2019