The Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
Sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc.
Winner: $15,000; Finalists: $2,000
Established in 1997, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize recognizes Canadian writers of exceptional talent for the year's best novel or short-story collection.
2009 Winner & Finalists Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
2009 Finalists Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Finalists
Nicole Brossard, Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood (translator) Fences in Breathing, Coach House Books
Douglas Coupland, Generation A, Random House Canada
Annabel Lyon, The Golden Mean, Random House Canada - Winner
Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness, McClelland & Stewart: A Douglas Gibson BookAndrew Steinmetz, Eva’s Threepenny Theatre, Gaspereau Press
Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood (translator)
Fences in Breathing,
Coach House Books
Invited to a quiet Swiss château by the enigmatic Tatiana Beaujeu Lehmann, Anne begins to slowly write a novel in a language that is not hers, a language that makes meaning foreign and keeps her alert to the world and its fiery horizon. Will the strange intoxication that takes hold of her and her characters – sculptor Charles; his sister, Kim about to leave for the far north; and Laura Ravin, a lawyer obsessed with the Patriot Act – allow her to break through the darkness of the world? This novel was first published in French as La Capture du sombre in 2007.
Nicole Brossard is a poet, novelist, and essayist who has published more than 30 books. She has won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry twice, and the W.O. Mitchell Literary Prize. She lives in Montreal.
Susanne de Lorbinière-Harwood is an author and translator. This is her fourth Nicole Brossard book. She lives in Montreal.
Random House Canada
In the near future, ecological damage has given rise to the apparent extinction of honey bees, sparking a pollination crisis. On an autumn day five unconnected people – in the US, Canada, France, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka – are all stung. Spirited away for medical testing by a shadowy pharmaceutical company their shared experience unites them in ways they could never have imagined. Generation A explores new ways of storytelling in a digital world and occupies the perplexing hinterland between optimism about the future and everyday apocalyptic paranoia.
Douglas Coupland was born on a NATO base in Germany in 1961. He is the author of numerous books, including JPod, Hey Nostradamus!, and Generation X. A visual artist, sculptor, furniture designer, and screenwriter, Coupland collaborated on the design of a recently unveiled eight-acre park in downtown Toronto. He lives in Vancouver.
The Golden Mean
Random House Canada
Aristotle is forced to postpone his dream of succeeding Plato as the leader of the Academy in Athens when Philip of Macedon asks him to stay on in his capital city of Pella to tutor his precocious son, Alexander. Appalled at first, he is soon drawn to the boy’s intellectual potential. Born into a warrior culture, thrown before his time onto his father’s battlefields, Alexander needs to learn the golden mean, that elusive balance between extremes that Aristotle hopes will mitigate the boy’s will to conquer.
Annabel Lyon first collection of short fiction, Oxygen, was nominated for the Danuta Gleed and ReLit Awards. Her second collection, The Best Thing of You, was nominated for the Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction. She lives in New Westminster, British Columbia. This is her first novel.
Too Much Happiness,
McClelland & Stewart: A Douglas Gibson Book
The title story in this collection follows real-life Russian mathematician Sophia Kovalevsky on her final journey from France to Sweden, the only country in the 1890s that would accept a female professor. Other stories sweep readers into a home invasion in a lonely widow’s remote house, reveal the cracks through which someone can slip into a life on Toronto’s streets, and show a small-town girl who watches three women vie for power around a dying man’s bed. With piercing insight, Munro provides honest and exacting fiction in this diverse collection.
Alice Munro has published fourteen previous books. This is her fourth nomination for this prize, which she won in 2004 for Runaway. She recently received the Man Booker International Prize. She divides her time between Clinton, Ontario, and Comox, British Columbia.
Eva’s Threepenny Theatre
Billed as “an unusual fiction about memoir,” Eva’s Threepenny Theatre tells the story of the author’s great-aunt, Eva Mathilde Steinmetz, who played a whore in the first workshop production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera in Berlin in 1928. Recording her recollections, Eva takes us back to her childhood, life in Weimar Germany, and, with the pronouncement of the family’s Jewish origins, escape from Nazi rule. In a series of fragmented stories we see the author’s own life as it intersects with Eva’s, and his changing perspective on her stories.
Andrew Steinmetz is the author of a memoir, Wardlife: The Apprenticeship of a Young Writer as a Hospital Clerk, and two collections of poetry. He is the editor of Esplanade Books, the fiction imprint at Véhicule Press. Steinmetz lives in Ottawa. This is his first novel.
2008 Winner The $25,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
MiriamToews (Winnipeg) for The Flying Troutmans, published by Knopf Canada published by Knopf Canada
“Toews's book is a love song to young people trying to navigate the volcanic world of adult emotions.”
Jury: Lawrence Hill (Burlington, Ontario), Annabel Lyon (Vancouver), and Heather O’Neill (Montreal)
Each finalist for this prize receives $3,500.
• Rivka Galchen (New York City) for Atmospheric Disturbances, published by Harper Collins Canada
• Rawi Hage (Montreal) for Cockroach, published by House of Anansi Press
• Lee Henderson (Vancouver) for The Man Game, published by Viking Canada
• Patrick Lane (North Saanich, British Columbia) for Red Dog, Red Dog, published by
McClelland & Stewart
Days after being dumped by her boyfriend Marc in Paris – "he was heading off to an ashram and said we could communicate telepathically" – Hattie hears her sister Min has been checked into a psychiatric hospital, and finds herself flying back to Winnipeg to take care of Thebes and Logan, her niece and nephew. Not knowing what else to do, she loads the kids, a cooler, and a pile of CDs into their van and they set out on a road trip in search of the children’s long-lost father, Cherkis.
Imagine what it might be like to realize that the person you love is, in fact, not the person you love but a doppelgänger: or, what Leo Liebenstein coolly terms a "simulacrum" of his wife Rema at the outset of Atmospheric Disturbances. David Byrne's infamous cry that "this is not my beautiful wife" seems the most likely response, but Leo's reaction to this sea change takes unpredictable and dazzlingly plotted turns in the story that follows. Leo's journey to recover the "real" Rema is nothing short of byzantine; among its many mysteries is the delightfully inscrutable Dr. Tzvi Gal-Chen, a master meteorologist who in cleverly constructed flashback sequences takes up residence in the daily rhythms of Leo and Rema's marriage and becomes as much a focus of Leo's obsession as his wife's whereabouts. (Think Vertigo--but directed by Charlie Kaufman.) Make no mistake: this is dizzying debut fiction, bursting at the spine with beautifully articulated ideas about love, yes, but also--and with maddening resonance--about the private wars love forces us to wage with ourselves. Be sure to keep a pen or pencil handy: it's impossible to resist underlining prose this good. --Anne Bartholomew
Rawi Hage (Montreal) for Cockroach, published by House of Anansi Press
One of the most highly anticipated novels of the year, Cockroach is as urgent, unsettling, and brilliant as Rawi Hage's bestselling and critically acclaimed first book, De Niro's Game. The novel takes place during one month of a bitterly cold winter in Montreal's restless immigrant community, where a self-described "thief" has just tried but failed to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a local park. Rescued against his will, the narrator is obliged to attend sessions with a well-intentioned but naïve therapist. This sets the story in motion, leading us back to the narrator's violent childhood in a war-torn country, forward into his current life in the smoky émigré cafés where everyone has a tale, and out into the frozen night-time streets of Montreal, where the thief survives on the edge, imagining himself to be a cockroach invading the lives of the privileged, but willfully blind, citizens who surround him.
Like De Niro's Game, Cockroach combines an uncompromising vision of humanity with razor-sharp portraits of society's outsiders, and a startling, poetic sensibility with bracing jolts of dark humour
On a recent Vancouver Sunday afternoon, a young man stumbles upon a secret sport invented more than a century before, at the birth of his city. Thus begins The Man Game, Lee Henderson's epic tale of loved requited and not, that crosses the contemporary and historical in an extravagant, anarchistic retelling of the early days of a pioneer town on the edge of the known world. In 1886, out of the smouldering ashes of the great fire that destroyed much of the city, Molly Erwagen--former vaudeville performer--arrives from Toronto with her beloved husband, Samuel, to start a new life. Meanwhile, Litz and Pisk, two lumberjacks exiled after the fire, and blamed for having started it, are trying to clear their names. Before long, they've teamed up with Molly to invent a new sport that will change the course of that fledgling city's history.
One of the most powerful, gripping works of fiction to come out of Canada, Red Dog, Red Dog is Patrick Lane’s virtuoso debut novel.
2007 Lawrence Hill for The Book of Negroes
2006 Kenneth J. Harvey for Inside
2005 Joseph Boyden for Three Day Road
2004 Alice Munro for Runaway
2003 Kevin Patterson for Country of Cold
2002 Paulette Jiles for Enemy Women
2001 Margaret Sweatman for When Alice Lay Down With Peter
2000 Helen Humphreys for Afterimage
1999 Peter Oliva for The City of Yes
1998 Greg Hollingshead for The Healer
1997 Austin Clarke for The Origins of Waves