Writers’ Union of Canada announced the shortlist for this year’s Danuta Gleed Literary Award which recognizes “the best first English-language collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2014”.
This year’s nominees are:
Circus by Claire Battershill
“A dazzling collection of award-winning stories with the emotional punch, sharp wit, and disarming charm of Rebecca Lee, Karen Russell, Neil Smith, and Jessica Grant. Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Step right up and prepare to be dazzled by this delightful debut from Claire Battershill, winner of the CBC Literary Award, co-winner of the Canadian Authors Association’s Emerging Writer Award, and finalist for the inaugural PEN International/New Voices Award. As they transport us from a crowded airport departure lounge to the stillness of the British Museum, and from the spectacle of the Winter Olympics to the modesty of a local Miniatureland, these radiant stories explore the often surprising things we’re willing to do for love and human connection.” publisher
American Innovations by Rivka Galchen
“A brilliant new collection of short stories from “the conspicuously talented” (Time) Rivka Galchen. In one of the intensely imaginative stories in Rivka’s Galchen’s American Innovations, a young woman’s furniture walks out on her. In another, the narrator feels compelled to promise to deliver a takeout order that has incorrectly been phoned in to her. In a third, the petty details of a property transaction illuminate the complicated pains and loves of a family. The tales in this groundbreaking collection are secretly in conversation with canonical stories, reimagined from the perspective of female characters.” publisher
Wallflowers by Eliza Robertson
“From windswept Pacific beaches to the inner reaches of the human heart, Wallflower is a shimmering and often surprising journey of discovery, with many unexpected turns along the way. Robertson has created a cast of unique and wholly engaging characters. Here there are swindlers and innocents, unlikely heroes and gritty survivors; they teach us how to trap humming birds, relinquish dreams gracefully, and feed raccoons without getting bitten. “Wish you were here” letters on a road trip parallel a woman’s painful trip into her family’s dysfunctional past; reminiscences of a beloved sibling are inextricably bound up with calamity … and roommate problems lead to a surprising (and skin-crawling) revelation.” publisher
Chez L’Arabe by Mireille Silcoff
“A dazzling debut collection from award-winning journalist and New York Times Magazine contributor Mireille Silcoff. Inspired by the real life medical struggles of the author, this stunning debut collection opens with a gripping portrait of chronic illness in a series of linked stories about a woman in her mid-thirties, who is trapped in her elegantly accoutered Montreal townhouse — and in her own mind and body. As she struggles with her health, amongst an increasingly indifferent husband and volatile mother, she encounters unimaginable depths of loneliness and realizes that, even after she recovers, her life will never be the same. As the collection progresses, it picks up the threads of other people’s lives that have also been abruptly upended –- through death, divorce, illness and estrangements –- leaving them shocked and disoriented as they try to navigate their lives in new directions.” publisher
Hideout Hotel by Janine Alyson Young
“In a mining town edging the Australian Nullarbor, Gina sits at the bar and devotes herself to the heart of what she’s trying to escape. After finishing a grueling cross-Canada tour, Dana, an alt-rock musician, flees to the Yukon to avoid her band’s rising fame and risks sabotaging it all. In a small West Coast fishing town, a boat-dwelling mother struggles to manage a friend’s cancer, mortality and a failing marriage. A novella, “Sung Spit,” chronicles Cassiopeia’s adolescence and young adulthood as she is paralyzed by an unwanted pregnancy and faces the disappearance of family members.
In her debut collection, HIDEOUT HOTEL, Janine Alyson Young delivers disparate characters struggling with their own inadequacies.” publisher