Books

Michael Christie's Greenwood wins best novel at Arthur Ellis Awards for Canadian crime writing

The B.C.-based writer's futuristic tale of environmental destruction and family secrets will receive $1,000.
Michael Christie is the author of Greenwood. (McClelland & Stewart)

B.C. writer Michael Christie's Greenwood won best novel at the 2020 Arthur Ellis Awards, an annual event that celebrates Canadian crime writing across several categories.

Christie will take home a $1,000 prize. Greenwood takes place in 2038, in a future devastated by environmental collapse. The story unravels around Jake Greenwood, a tour guide on a remote island with 1,000-year-old trees, as she discovers old family secrets.

The novel was longlisted for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Galiano Island, B.C. writer's other books include 2015's If I Fall, If I Die and 2011's The Beggar's Garden.

You could categorize Michael Christie's new novel Greenwood as a sprawling work of historical fiction. But as he tells As It Happens host Carol Off, its family story is timeless — and its environmental message couldn't be more timely. 27:23

Charlotte Gray received the Arthur Ellis Award for best nonfiction book for her book Murdered Midas. The book delves into the unsolved murder of gold mining millionaire Sir Harry Oakes in 1943.

Wayne Arthurson received the best novella honours, a $200 prize, for The Red Chesterfield. The story follows a bylaw officer who, while investigating a suspicious yard sale, discovers a severed foot in an old red chesterfield.

Philip Elliott was awarded the best first novel award for Nobody Move, receiving a $500 prize. The book follows a man's misadventures in L.A. organized crime and a detective struggling to keep up with the body count he leaves in his wake.

The best juvenile or YA book award, a $500 prize, was given to Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan. The book follows a teenager trying to solve the murder of his best friend and catch the serial killer that stalked their small town years ago.

Andrée A. Michaud received best French book honours for Tempêtes. She is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for French-language fiction and was on the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist for the English-language novel Boundary, translated by Donald Winkler.

Closing Doors by Peter Sellers won the $300 prize for best short story.

The Unhanged Arthur Award for best unpublished manuscript, a $500 prize, went to The Dieppe Letters by Liz Rachel Walker.

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