David Chariandy wins the $50K Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize

The prize recognizes the best Canadian novel or short story collection of the year. The prize purse doubled for 2017.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (left) and David Chariandy are two of five authors vying for the $50,000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. (Zahra Siddiqu/Joy van Tiedemann)

David Chariandy's novel Brother is the 2017 winner of the $50,000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. The prize, given out annually since 1997, recognizes the best Canadian novel or short story collection of the year.

The other finalists were Leanne Betasamosake Simpson for her collection of stories and poems This Accident of Being Lost, Carleigh Baker for the short story collection Bad Endings, Claire Cameron for the novel The Last Neanderthal and Omar El Akkad for the novel American War. You can learn more about this year's finalists below.

Both Baker and El Akkad were on CBC Books' 2017 Writers to Watch list

jury comprised of Michael Christie, Christy Ann Conlin and Tracey Lindberg chose the finalists from 141 titles submitted by publishers.

The prize money for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize has been doubled for 2017, with the winner receiving $50,000 —  up from $25,000 in previous years. $5,000 went to each of the four remaining finalists.

The 2017 winner was announced at the Writers' Trust awards ceremony in Toronto on Nov. 14, 2017. 

The 2016 winner was Yasuko Thanh for her novel Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains.

Other past prize winners include Austin Clarke, Alice Munro, Lawrence Hill, Emma Donoghue and André Alexis. 

Bad Endings by Carleigh Baker

Carleigh Baker is the author of Bad Endings, a collection of short stories. (Callan Field/Anvil Press)

What it's about: In her debut short story collection, Bad Endings, Carleigh Baker explores failing relationships, challenging family dynamics and mental health. 

The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron

Claire Cameron is the author of the novel The Last Neanderthal. (David Kerr)

What it's about: The Last Neanderthal takes the reader on a journey through the stories of both a Neanderthal named Girl and a pregnant modern-day archaeologist named Rosamund Gale.

Brother by David Chariandy

Brother is David Chariandy's second novel. (Joy van Tiedemann/Penguin Random House Canada)

What it's about: Brother takes us inside the lives of two brothers, the sons of Trinidadian immigrants. Their father has disappeared and their mother works double, sometimes triple shifts so her boys might fulfil the elusive promise of their adopted home.

American War by Omar El Akkad

American War is Omar El Akkad's debut novel. (Michael Lionstar/McClelland & Stewart)

What it's about: Omar El Akkad's debut novel American War envisions a future where government restrictions on fossil fuels have sparked a second Civil War in the U.S.

This Accident of Being Lost by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is the author of This Accident of Being Lost, a collection of stories and songs. (Zahra Siddiqui/House of Anansi Press)

What it's about: This Accident of Being Lost is a poignant collection of songs and stories inspired by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's Nishnaabeg storytelling roots.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?