CBC Literary Prizes

The Last Best Shower by Ashley Bristowe

Ashley Bristowe has made the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for The Last Best Shower.

2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Ashley Bristowe is a writer, editor and photographer. (Chris Turner)

Ashley Bristowe has made the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for The Last Best Shower.

About Ashley

Ashley Bristowe is a writer, editor and photographer. Her work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve, Swerve magazine and the South China Morning Post. She has a master's degree in international rural development planning and was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to India. She has worked as a radio producer for the CBC, in documentary film, in arts granting and she was the star of the 1980s TV show Harriet's Magic Hats. She lives in Calgary, Alta.

Entry in five-ish words

Birth: not what it seems.

The story's source of inspiration

"This is an early chapter of a book-in-progress about the first three years of my son's life. After a normal pregnancy and straightforward birth, my son was diagnosed with an extraordinarily rare chromosomal syndrome. We knew something was wrong with him as soon as he got to NICU. But, initially, it looked like everything was fine. At this stage the story is still 100% about me: the aftermath of the labour, my prickly relationship with the health care system, my needs and wants and impressions. My first labour (with our daughter) was very long and terrible and I nearly died. It took me months to recover. After this second labour, I was amazed to be standing, to be done with the pregnancy, to have survived labour again and with so much less life-and-death drama. Or so it seemed, right until that nurse appears at the end of the story: she's going to tell us that something is wrong with our son. And everything we thought we were going to do with our lives will shatter. This story shows the penultimate moments before the car crash."

First lines

"The room, full of what happened, tilting back-forth as I hitch across the floor. There are three rolling laundry baskets of sheets and towels, bloody edges flung over like in a wind, and even dripping below. How could there be that much blood there and still some in me yet."

About the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner of the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their story published on CBC Books and attend a 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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now