Calgary writer Brenda Damen wins 2020 CBC Short Story Prize
"Gibson is a feat of fearless, poetic and even terrifying storytelling. The narrator, a young woman preyed upon cruelly and brutally by her father, nevertheless finds, through language and the sense data of the natural world, the strength and resilience to survive," the jury said in a statement.
"This is writing of the first rank which demonstrates just how much a wise, sensitive and clear-eyed writer can do with the short story form."
Damen's story was selected from more than 2,400 English-language submissions.
Gibson is a short story excerpted from a work Damen has been working on for more than 13 years.
This is the first writing competition Damen has ever entered.
"This has all been very surreal. I've followed the competition for years, never entering, but always excited to read the finalists. Entering was solely a personal declaration of courage," Damen told CBC Books.
"It's very confirming as a writer. Even being called a writer is exhilarating. This is the height of everything for me."
Julie Bouchard is the winner of the French-language grand prize, le Prix de la nouvelle Radio-Canada, for Fin juillet à Split Landing.