CBC Literary Prizes

Red Sails by Kate Gunn

Kate Gunn has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Red Sails.

2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Kate Gunn is a writer from the Gulf Islands, B.C. (Kathryn Langsford)

Kate Gunn has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Red Sails.

About Kate

Kate Gunn grew up on the Gulf Islands off the west coast of British Columbia. She currently lives and works in Vancouver. Her short fiction has previously appeared in PRISM International.

Entry in five-ish words

The past shapes the present.

The story's source of inspiration

"I write to try to understand the world around me and how I fit into it. Red Sails is my attempt to make sense of how one person's life experience and personal choices can influence family dynamics on an inter-generational level."

First lines

If each person has only one story to tell then Maggie's began with a ship on the ocean that rolled and heaved all the way from Glasgow to Montreal. And it also began earlier in Edinburgh, where her mother, Christine, played the piano in the afternoon in their apartment and the dust swam like schools of tiny golden fish in the sunlight around her hair.

My mother had no choice, Maggie said later. She had no choice but still, she shouldn't have let me go. All across the Atlantic Maggie cried for her mother, and even 70 years later the sound of Mozart on the piano makes her weep.

About the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2019 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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