The 2012 ReLit Awards were announced in Ottawa this week. The awards have been in existence since 1999 and serve to highlight the best of independent publishing in Canada. Past winners include The Outlander by Gil Adamson and Alligator by Lisa Moore.
The 2012 Short Fiction award went to Greg Kearney for Pretty: stories. (M)
|photo by David Hawe|
“In this follow-up to his acclaimed debut story collection, Mommy Daddy Baby, Greg Kearney continues his investigation into the lives of average people forced to modify their world views in the face of devastating – or at the very least, mortifying – new circumstances. A middle-aged, HIV+ gay man, deformed by the side effects of protease inhibitors, wades cautiously back into the singles scene, a scene now rife with flip, canny young men who think nothing of ripping an ugly stranger to shreds by way of small talk. A fundamentalist Christian housewife thrills to her new-found carnality with a seasoned, secret lover, only to be saddled with the sudden, enervating task of home-schooling her four special-needs children. A washed-up but content pop star is pursued by a pair of shrill documentary filmmakers, heedless of her happiness and hell-bent on refashioning the woman’s life into arty tragedy, even if it kills them. All of them.
Mordant, brash, hysterically funny yet always
compassionate, these new stories give voice to characters moved to speak in spite of themselves. Good breeding falls away and all things dank and scatological are pondered, embraced or discarded.”
This year’s winner for the Novel category is Monoceros (M)by Suzete Meyr.
“Bullied at school and in love with a boy, Ginger, who wants to end their relationship because of his girlfriend, 17-year-old gay high school student Patrick Furey can’t see a way out of his situation, and commits suicide. Mayr’s novel examines the repercussions of his death on his Catholic school classmates and administrators. His classmate, Faraday, who is obsessed with unicorns, is shaken to the core, convinced that she could have done something to stop it if she’d been nicer to him. Ginger is devastated. Convinced that his girlfriend Petra was somehow involved with Patrick’s death, Ginger cuts off ties with her. Petra, meanwhile, just wants Ginger to love her. The closeted principal, Max, is dating the guidance counselor, Walter, and the suicide causes turmoil in their relationship.
Mayr (Venous Hum) has crafted a thoughtful tale examining how the death of one person can have ripple effects even on people who didn’t know the deceased. Effectively portraying a range of ages, emotions, genders, and motivations, Mayr quickly engages readers.” – Publishers Weekly