CBC Literary Prizes

Courage, My Love by Christine Higdon

Christine Higdon has made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Courage, My Love.

2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Christine Higdon is a writer from Mimico, Ont. (Peter Higdon)

Christine Higdon has made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Courage, My Love.

The shortlist will be announced on April 15. The winner will be announced on April 22.

About Christine

Christine Higdon lives in Mimico, Ont., by way of the south shore of the Fraser River. Her novel The Very Marrow of Our Bones won the 2018 Foreword Indies Editor's Choice Prize. In 2016, she was shortlisted for the CBC Nonfiction Prize for Because We're Not at the Ocean. Her work has appeared in Plenitude and The New Quarterly. When not working or writing (another novel), Christine hook rugs, worries about the bees, and longs for either ocean.

Entry in five-ish words

The ties that bind..

The story's source of inspiration

"I was thinking about the power that simple objects have to unearth old memories. And how sometimes those memories can challenge our sense of self, our identity. For one of the two middle-aged women in this story, on the eve of their wedding, a beautiful tie shakes her self-confidence. The setting was inspired by the cliffs and paths and beaches of a village in Nova Scotia that I've had the privilege of visiting annually for more than a decade now." 

First lines

Bon's been waiting half an hour for the light, rising like the flood tide, to reach that spot on the wall. Martha won't mind being woken now. 

"You'll probably want to get married down on the beach in a wedding dress and everything," Bon says to Martha's back.

Martha rolls over and sleepily runs her hand across the soft burr of Bon's fresh crew cut. She eases herself closer and rubs her face on Bon's head. "That sounds about right," Martha says.

Bon smiles, nervous. "What should I wear?

"I don't know." Martha's up on her knees now, and straddling Bon. "A suit and tie?"

Bon looks up into Martha's brown eyes. "Yeah?" Vulnerable. That's the word Bon's looking for.

"Yeah," Martha says, lifting her nightie and lying flat on Bon. "I'd like that," she whispers into Bon's ear.

About the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and attend a two-week 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 work published on CBC Books.

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