The Great Caribou by Anne Camozzi
2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist
Anne Camozzi has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for The Great Caribou.
Anne Camozzi writes and creates art in Nova Scotia. An early passion for the arts led to a BFA from York University where she began writing in earnest. Her varied careers all involved writing. She has been a radio and TV news reporter, award-winning environmental consultant and university vice-president. While she's worked on creative fiction her whole life, it wasn't until a serious illness led her to a full-time art and writing practice as a path to healing. She remains active in community social justice work, especially involving the environment, disabilities, healing and the arts.
Entry in five-ish words
Visions guide wilderness mother home.
The story's source of inspiration
"The fortitude of Canadian immigrant, pioneer settler women, the graciousness of First Nations people, the extinction of species and the power of mystical experiences are themes in a novel in progress. This story is an adaptation of a chapter of that novel."
Spring's just arrived, but there's still snow on the ground and I spot rare caribou tracks near the barn as I hurry in from milking. The winter's been so desperate cold that each night I lean the bed boards near the fireplace to warm them before the children sleep huddled together. Then I lie alone worrying how to survive without Jack. Food is scarce and I've lost all belief in God providing, so I must hunt. In the distance, clouds threaten snow so I prepare in haste lest tracks be covered, knowing I'll get no help from either God or good fortune. My last shred of faith disappeared when I lost Elmira, and Molly too, in this darkest of winters. Their signs are everywhere. I button my shirt and Elmira's embroidery fondles my fingers; Molly's quilled pouch chants from the bedpost; Jack's patched trousers tease from their hand carved pegs. Stiffening with resolve, I yank on his hunting sweater, inhale his pipe tobacco and flee the ghosts.
About the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize
The winner of the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their story published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a 10-day 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 story published on CBC Books.