Books

Teva Harrison, Lynne Kutsukake and Dee Willson win Kobo Emerging Writer Prizes

The annual awards recognize debut Canadian books. Each winner will take home $10,000.
(From left): Teva Harrison, Lynne Kutsukake and Dee Willson are the winners of the Kobo Emerging Writer Prizes. (David Leonard/Edmond Lee/deewillson.com)

The Kobo Emerging Writer Prize has announced the three winners of their annual awards, which recognize debut Canadian books. Each winner will take home $10,000.

Teva Harrison received the nonfiction prize for her graphic memoir In-Between Days, a touching and emotional portrait of Harrison's experience with terminal cancer. The book was also a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction.

"In-Between Days is an absolutely mesmerising read. Without ever becoming sentimental or self-pitying, Teva Harrison explores an unbearable situation with honesty, courage, humour and heart-breaking poignancy," said Ross King, prize judge and author of the award-winning book Mad Enchantment.

"Her account of dealing with a terrifying cancer diagnosis ultimately becomes an uplifting celebration of living."

In the literary fiction category, Lynne Kutsukake has won for her novel The Translation of Love. Set in post-war Tokyo, the novel follows a Japanese-Canadian girl's quest to help a classmate find her missing sister.

"The Translation of Love is a tremendously accomplished work, a propulsive and layered story, the scope of which is quite unusual for a first novel," said novellist Zoe Whittall, who judged this year's prize.

"I was gripped and often very moved while reading and it stayed with me for weeks."

Dee Willson has won the speculative fiction prize for A Keeper's Truth, which judge Kelley Armstrong praised for its "balance" and "freshness."

"The plot finds an equal balance between research and imagination, while never sacrificing characterization," added Armstrong, who is the bestselling author Rituals and Bitten.

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