HALIFAX – The Writers’ Union of Canada announced this evening that Carrianne Leung is the recipient of the $10,000 first prize in the 22nd annual Danuta Gleed Literary Award, recognizing the best first collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2018 in the English language. The announcement was made during The Writers’ Union of Canada’s OnWords Conference.
Of Carrianne Leung’s book That Time I Loved You (published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.), jury members Heather O’Neill, Ayelet Tsabari, and Richard Van Camp said: “In That Time I Loved You, 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.”
Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/University of Toronto. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo (Inanna Publications), was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. That Time I Loved You was a finalist for the 2018 Toronto Book Awards and was longlisted for CBC Canada Reads.
Runners-up Paige Cooper and Erin Frances Fisher will each receive $500.
Of Paige Cooper’s Zolitude (published by A John Metcalf Book, an imprint of Biblioasis), the jury said: “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.”
Of Erin Frances Fisher’s That Tiny Life (published by House of Anansi Press Inc.), the jury said: “That Tiny Life 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 perplexing mystery of your own tiny life.”
The short list of five books was announced on May 7, 2019, and also included Djamila Ibrahim, Things Are Good Now (House of Anansi Press Inc.) and Marianne Micros, Eye (Guernica Editions Inc.).
The Danuta Gleed Literary 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.
To date, the award has presented more than $166,000 to writers and has recognized more than 100 first collections of short fiction for their excellence. The first recipient was Curtis Gillespie for The Progress of an Object in Motion. Other winners have included Dennis Bock for Olympia, Pasha Malla for The Withdrawal Method, Ian Williams for Not Anyone’s Anything, Heather O’Neill for Daydreams of Angels, Kris Bertin for Bad Things Happen, and last year’s winner Norma Dunning for Annie Muktuk and Other Stories.
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: June 1, 2019