Eat (and Drink) Between the Lines
The Writers’ Trust of Canada has just announced the finalists for two fiction prizes: the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. If your spare minutes are taken up devouring a good book as mine are, you’ll be interested in reading the offerings by these winners. The first prize recognizes writers of the year’s best novel or short story collection, and the latter prize recognizes new and developing writers for the best short story first published in a Canadian literary journal during the previous year. A well-stocked library will be probably own many of these books. Otherwise, check out a good bookstore.
I just finished reading Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog. It was published a few years ago, but occupied a place on the best seller’s list for more than a year. Deservedly so. Although on the surface, the story explores the French class system through its two main characters, Renée (a concierge) and Paloma (a teenager from a wealthy family), the book’s central focus is the meaning of life and death. Barbery uses philosophical theories – from Socrates to Eminem – to explore that concept. Have you read anything lately that has inspired you? Pour yourself a cup of spiced coffee, and take a minute to peruse the list below.
Finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
Clark Blaise, The Meagre Tarmac (Biblioasis)
Michael Christie, The Beggar’s Garden (HarperCollins Publishers)
Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers (House of Anansi Press)
Esi Edugyan, Half-Blood Blues (Thomas Allen Publishers)
Dan Vyleta, The Quiet Twin (HarperCollins Publishers)
• Finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize will be reading at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on October 26 and in Hamilton, Ontario, on October 27.
Finalists for the Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize
Seyward Goodhand, “The Fur Trader’s Daughter” (PRISM international)
Miranda Hill, “Petitions to Saint Chronic” (The Dalhousie Review)
Ross Klatte, “First-Calf Heifer” (The New Orphic Review)
Four additional prizes for a body of work will be presented in Toronto on November 1, 2011
Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life ($20,000)
Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature ($20,000)