The Jungle by Richard Joseph
2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist
Richard Joseph has made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for The Jungle.
The shortlist will be announced on April 15. The winner will be announced on April 22.
Richard Joseph is a writer, journalist and copywriter from Chennai, India, now living in London, Ont. He holds a BA in English literature and creative writing from Western University. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Western Gazette, the Saint and Occasus. Richard is currently working on his first novel, The Pythia, which explores the life of a young journalist in Toronto.
Entry in five-ish words
On boyhood friendship and regret.
The story's source of inspiration
"I think many people worry about how they treated others when they weren't old enough to know better — their parents, their friends, their teachers. I know I do. It's a complicated and sometimes pointless line of thought, because of course empathy is learned, and kids can be awful, and anyway it's ancient history. But every now and then, life gives you the chance to do something or say something to someone you've hurt when you were younger. I wanted to explore what you might (or might not) do, confronted with this opportunity you thought you wanted."
I can't remember ever meeting Cal, but even now I can picture him with perfect clarity: straw-coloured hair, thoughtful eyes, features entirely commonplace but inked dark and permanent into my first memories of Canada. I was an only child, a devourer of novels, television, movies, and the all-consuming nature of my parents' work meant that they left me mostly to myself; all of to say my mind was a volatile, highly-pressurized brew of various fictions. Cal came along at exactly the moment when I most desired a fellow adventurer, a Sancho Panza to my Don Quixote, and I unloosed my fancies on him like a shotgun blast.
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.