My Father's Wife by Meg Todd
2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist
Meg Todd has made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for My Father's Wife.
The shortlist will be announced on April 15. The winner will be announced on April 22.
Meg Todd grew up in Alberta and currently lives in Vancouver. Her work has been published in Prairie Fire, Riddle Fence, Grain, Event, The Humber Literary Review, The Windsor Review and elsewhere. She studied Eastern Religious Studies at the University of Calgary and creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
Entry in five-ish words
Cultural differences, mental illness, survival.
The story's source of inspiration
"This story was inspired by the stretch of ¾ acre lots where I grew up just outside of Calgary. A defunct motel, an abandoned gas station, the Jehovah witness smoker who cut our hair in her basement, the newly arrived Brits, the Argentinians, the Germans, the elderly Jewish couple, the Muslim political scientist, the Dutch family with their impossible names — the road was a veritable United Nations. I can't imagine a better muse."
My mother had been dead a year when the new wife arrived. I was 11 and my sister was six and we stood side by side and looked at this woman in front of us who wore blue work pants, runners and an enormous winter coat. She had cropped black hair and small uneven teeth. She pointed to her nose and said, "Ma Ma." My sister put her fingers in her mouth and I turned back to Snakes and Ladders, which my sister was losing.
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.