“May the force be with you.” So Margaret Atwood wished the primary finalists for the newly dubbed Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize as a result of the jury heads into final deliberations for the celebrated $60,000 prize.
The prize was renamed this 12 months to honour Atwood and her late husband, Graeme Gibson, who had been co-founders of the Writers’ Trust.
“Graeme Gibson, who worked very hard to improve the lot of writers both in Canada and abroad, would be delighted by the establishment of this award,” Atwood talked about in a press launch. “No one knew better than he did what a chancy and often thankless vocation writing can be and how many obstacles — both external and internal — a writer must overcome.”
The finalists, who will each download $5,000 are:
“Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch” by Rivka Galchen (Harper Perennial) “A powerful indictment of misogyny, gossip and the casual cruelty of crowds,” talked about the jury. “‘Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch’ shines with empathy and understanding, using the past to dissect and examine one of the essential crises of our time: the conflict between science and superstition.”
“We Want What We Want” by Alix Ohlin (Home of Anansi Press) The Star’s reviewer talked about regarding the tales, “That’s the magic, though: the seeming simplicity of the prose, the plain-spoken quality underpinning these stories, conceals a staggering level of craft, of command and expertise. Most readers will never notice it, slipping effortlessly into the story, transfixed as Ohlin pulls a rabbit from a hat.”
“Fight Night” by Miriam Toews (Knopf Canada) In an interview with the Star, Toews talked about storytelling as a life energy, saying, “I wanted the book to be encouraging. I wanted it to be funny. I wanted to make my kids, my grandkids laugh, that’s for sure.” The jury talked about of the e e book that, “Miriam Toews does not disappoint with her latest outing,” calling it “a careful balance of wit, irony, dark humour and philosophical musings (that) makes for a thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable read about women and girls navigating the world together.” This e e book has moreover been longlisted for the 2021 Giller Prize.
“August Into Winter” by Man Vanderhaeghe (McClelland & Stewart) The Star’s reviewer known as it “one that is a master-class in character and storytelling, revealing a novelist at the height of his powers. Written in muscular prose with whiplash narrative drive, ‘August Into Winter’ is an epic tale of crime and punishment, the debilitating shadow of war and the redemptive possibility of love against all odds.”
“The Strangers” by Katherena Vermette (Hamish Hamilton Canada) “A beautiful, raw testament to those living on the margins,” the jury talked about in a press launch. “Cathartic and disturbing, ‘The Strangers’ offers vital insight into the colonial brutality that still haunts the lives of the Métis.” Together with Toews, Vermette has been longlisted for the 2021 Giller Prize.
This 12 months’s jury was composed of Canadian writers Rebecca Fisseha, Michelle Good and Steven Worth, who winnowed the fast itemizing down from 130 titles submitted by 60 publishers.
Whereas the award sports activities actions a model new title, it’s the acquainted quite a bit coveted marquee award for fiction — recognized variously as a result of the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize — that writers along with André Alexis, Gil Adamson, Alice Munro and Toews have obtained as a result of it was established in 1997.
The funding of this new iteration of the award is part of a $3-million donation made by businessman and BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie.
The winner will doubtless be introduced at a digital awards ceremony on Nov. 3 at writerstrust.com.
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