CBC Literary Prizes

Waiting by Adam Sol

Adam Sol has made the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Waiting.

2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Adam Sol is a Toronto-based writer. (Mark Raynes Roberts)

Adam Sol has made the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Waiting.

About Adam

Adam Sol's fourth collection of poetry, Complicity, was published in 2014 by McClelland & Stewart. His previous collections include Jeremiah, Ohio, a novel in poems that was shortlisted for Ontario's Trillium Award for poetry in 2008, and Crowd of Sounds, which won the award in 2004. He has published fiction, scholarly essays and reviews for a variety of publications. In 2016, Sol launched a blog called How a Poem Moves, which will be transformed into a book by ECW Press in 2019. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Rabbi Yael Splansky, and their three sons.

Entry in five-ish words

Husband waits, imagines wife's surgery.

The story's source of inspiration

"My wife went through a bout of breast cancer in 2015. I haven't written a lot about it, mostly because it was her experience much more than it was mine, and I want to protect her privacy while still reflecting on the experience in the best way I know how, on the page. Those hours I spent in the windowless family waiting room at Princess Margaret Hospital were such a singular mix of emotions that I thought it might work as an essay. Even while I paced and waited that morning, I was scribbling little notes about the weirdness of it, especially because I was aware that for some people — the doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital, for example — the things I found so strange were just the normal part of their everyday workplace."

First lines

"It's 8 a.m. she just went in which I guess means the anesthesiologist is holding her hand, looking for a vein. I met him before I said goodbye he said 'No trouble' a lot while she asked her nervous questions. Five times in the five minutes we had with him before they shooed me away. He hadn't shaved. How many of these does he do in a day?"

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, will have their story published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to 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.

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