Anakana Schofield, the Vancouver-based author of the novel Malarky, has won the $7,500 Amazon First Novel Award.
She was named winner Wednesday evening at a ceremony in Toronto. Her novel was chosen from a shortlist of five debut works of Canadian fiction.
Malarky, published by Biblioasis, is the comic and painful story of an Irish mother struggling with the grief of discovering she has a gay son and the agony of her own sexual longing.
Quill & Quire called the storytelling "a tumultuous ride" through contemporary Ireland and praised Schofield for her "plainly beautiful prose."
Each of the other finalists wins a $750 Amazon gift card. They are:
- Marjorie Celona for Y (Hamish Hamilton Canada).
- Scott Fotheringham for The Rest Is Silence (Goose Lane Editions).
- Pasha Malla for People Park (House of Anansi Press).
- Kim Thúy for Ru (Random House Canada).
The 2012 winner of the First Novel Award, now in its 37th year, was David Bezmozgis, author of The Free World.