CBC Literary Prizes

At half-light by Linda Walsh

Linda Walsh has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for At half-light.

2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Linda Walsh is an author, scientific writer and dance enthusiast living in Toronto. (Joy of Dance Centre)

Linda Walsh has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for At half-light.

About Linda

Linda Walsh has been a regional winner — Canada and Europe — of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and has also won awards from People's Poetry and the Southwest Regional Arts Council of British Columbia. Her scientific articles have been published in journals such as the American Journal of Human Genetics and Human Heredity. Linda is also a visual artist and dances Argentine tango. Her articles on dance have been published in T.O. Tango & Dance Review and Dance Time, and she is currently working on a novel about tango.

Entry in five-ish words

Without our stories, we disappear.

The story's source of inspiration

"At the heart of the story is the idea of disappearance and loss. My original inspiration was Argentine tango, which I discovered more than 25 years ago, the start of a journey that led me to Buenos Aires. Tango lyrics are full of evocative images of life in the streets, bars, and brothels of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Uruguay at the turn of the last century. They tell stories of immigrants filled with loss and longing for what they had left behind. At half-light is the English translation of the title of an iconic Argentine tango, A media luz, written in 1924. "

First lines

Sunday evening in Buenos Aires, 1936. You stroll through the crowd along Corrientes Street, swept by the human tide towards the moon behind the Obelisk. In balconies hang baskets of malvón, the flowers red as burning coals. At number 348, you take the elevator to the second floor. The night slides open. Inside, where it is always evening, you breathe in the heady mix of comfort  and danger. Voices murmur the porteño words for woman  not mujer, but mina, pebeta, percanta  with no rolling consonants to soften their edges. Black lacquer and burgundy, a fringed lamp on a table draped with velvet, a piano, a table set for Iove and, from the phonograph, the wail of the bandoneón.

About the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their story published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books

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