CBC Literary Prizes

Nineteen Sixty-Eight by Melanie Murray

Melanie Murray has made the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Nineteen Sixty-Eight.

2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Melanie Murray has made the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Nineteen Sixty-Eight. (David Griffin)

Melanie Murray has made the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Nineteen Sixty-Eight.

About Melanie

Melanie Murray grew up in the military town of Oromocto, N.B., and attended the University of New Brunswick to study English literature. She now lives in Kelowna, B.C., where she recently retired from teaching English and creative writing at Okanagan College. She is the author of two books of creative nonfiction: Should Auld Acquaintance: Discovering the Woman Behind Robert Burns and For Your Tomorrow: The Way of an Unlikely Soldier.

Entry in five-ish words

"1968 was my watershed."

The story's source of inspiration

"On New Year's morning of 2018, I heard a couple of commentators on CBC Radio talking about the ground-shaking events of 50 years ago. They referred to 1968 as 'the year of change.' I was struck by how apt that description was for me on a personal level as well. I began thinking about the intensity of that year, how the political and cultural upheaval of 1968 paralleled the turmoil in my own life. It was the year that changed everything."

First lines

In 1968, the army town of Oromocto, New Brunswick was a light year away from the flower-power streets of San Francisco. Long-haired hippies were nowhere in sight. But we sweat danced to the same soundtrack, Don Corey's band rocking the anthems at the Junior Boat Club: You say you want a revolution/ Well, you know/ We all want to change the world. Nineteen sixty-eight, the year of free love and acid trips, war and peace demonstrations. Students, feminists and Blacks marched in the streets. Trudeaumania seized the country, and our hip prime minister shocked the world with his radical manifesto, There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.

About the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner of the 2019 CBC Nonfiction 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.

The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 18, 2019. The winner will be announced on Sept. 25, 2019.

 

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