The Danuta Gleed Award

It was a privilege to serve as a juror, along with Shauna Singh Baldwin and Barry Dempster, for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for best first collection of short fiction in the English language, awarded via The Writers Union of Canada (TWUC). Barry noted that we may be the only three people in Canada who read all twenty-five of the first collections submitted for the award. A unique and fortunate book club, indeed, for there is a great deal of fine short fiction being written in this country.

Here follows the press release from TWUC announcing the short list and more details about the prize, as well as the shortlisted books: Continue reading

My take on the Giller and the gala

Well yes of course I watched the Giller gala last evening: I was home and it was on TV. And this year, turns out I’d actually read the winning book, Fifteen Dogs. Which made me happy with the happiness one has in also having read what others regard as very important. Started Saturday, finished Sunday in fact. (It’s not a particularly long or difficult book.) I’d also managed to read Rachel Cusk’s Outline, which struck me on every page as a winner for sure, so flawless is the flow of her language and so compelling the conversations of marriage and loss, and several of the stories in Heather O’Neill’s Daydreams of Angels, which I enjoyed but in a weird way where I was watching what she was doing more than losing myself inside it (but then mulling it later). Continue reading