Books

Lisa Moore, Elisabeth de Mariaffi & Sharon Bala shortlisted for $25K prize for Atlantic Canadian fiction

The Atlantic Book Awards Society released the shortlists for 13 book prizes.

The Atlantic Book Awards Society released the shortlists for 13 book prizes.

(From left) Lisa Moore, Elisabeth de Mariaffi and Sharon Bala are finalists of the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. (Heather Barrett, Ayelet Tsabari, Nadra Ginting)

Books by Lisa Moore, Elisabeth de Mariaffi and Sharon Bala are finalists for the $25,000 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, making it an all-Newfoundland shortlist.

The award celebrates the best work of fiction by a writer from Atlantic Canada and is one of 13 writing prizes administered by the Atlantic Book Awards Society, who revealed all of their nominees on May 2, 2019 at Halifax City Hall.

Moore is a finalist for Something for Everyone, an eclectic array of stories that examine the timeless, the tragic and the miraculous hidden in the underbelly of everyday lives. In addition to being a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Award, Moore also picked up a nomination for the Alistair MacLeod Prize for short fiction.

De Mariaffi is shortlisted for Hysteriaa mystery novel about a young German woman who escapes the Second World War only to encounter tragedy in her new idyllic life in upstate New York. 

Bala is a finalist for her debut novel The Boat People, the story of a father and son who arrive in Canada on an old cargo ship after surviving the Sri Lankan civil war and a dangerous ocean crossing. The book was defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah on Canada Reads 2018 and is a nominee for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Fiction.

The winners of all 13 prizes will be announced in St. John's, N.L. on June 6 as part of the annual Atlantic Book Awards and Festival, which runs from May 30 to June 6.

All the shortlists can be found below.

Alistair MacLeod Prize for short fiction:

Ann Connor Brimer Award for children's literature, a $2,000 prize for a middle grade or YA book:

  • Short for Chameleon by Vicki Grant
  • Finding Grace by Daphne Greer
  • Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott

Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Atlantic-Published Book Award, a $3,000 prize given to a publisher based in Atlantic Canada, along with $1,000 for the creators:

  • Viola Desmond: Her Life and Times by Graham Reynolds and Wanda Robson, published by Roseway Publishing
  • Saltwater Mittens from the Island of Newfoundland: More than 20 heritage designs to knit by Christine LeGrow & Shirley A. Scott, published by Boulder Books
  • Hope Blooms: Plant a Seed, Harvest a Dream by Mamadou Wade and the youth of Hope Blooms, published by Nimbus Publishing

Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, a $1,000 prize given to an academic book in the areas of social sciences and humanities:

  • The Age of Increasing Inequality: The Astonishing Rise of Canada's 1% by Lars Osberg
  • The Tides of Time: A Nova Scotia Book of Seasons by Suzanne Stewart
  • There's Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities by Ingrid R. G. Waldron 

Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for historical writing, a $2,000 prize given to a book about the history of the Atlantic provinces:

  • A Stone for Andrew Dunphy by Ronald Caplan
  • Where Duty Lies: A New Brunswick Soldier in the Trenches of World War 1 by John Cunningham
  • The Blind Mechanic: The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion by Marilyn Davidson Elliott

Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award, a $2,000 prize for Nova Scotian nonfiction writers:

Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), a $2,500 prize given to a book that celebrates Nova Scotia:

  • A Circle on the Surface by Carol Bruneau
  • Beholden by Lesley Crewe
  • In the Wake by Nicola Davison

J.M. Abraham Poetry Award, a prize for the best book of poetry:

  • Ruba'iyat for the Time of Apricots by Basma Kavanagh
  • No Meeting Without Body by Annick MacAskill
  • This Kind of Thinking Does No Good by Alison Smith

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for excellence in illustration, an award given to an illustrator who is from Atlantic Canada or has drawn a book set in Atlantic Canada: 

  • Africville illustrated by Eva Campbell & written by Shauntay Grant
  • Anna at the Art Museum illustrated by Lil Crump & written by Hazel Hutchins & Gail Herbert
  • Mi'kmaw Animals/Mi'kmaw Waisisk illustrated and written by Alan Syliboy

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Non-Fiction:

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Fiction:

  • The Boat People by Sharon Bala
  • In The Wake by Nicola Davison
  • Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott

Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-fiction), a $2,500 prize given to a book that celebrates Nova Scotia:

  • The Blind Mechanic: The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion by Marilyn Davidson Elliott
  • First Degree: From Medical School to Murder by Kayla Hounsell
  • Threads in the Acadian Fabric: Nine Generations of an Acadian Family by Simone Poirier-Bures

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