Entertainment

Toronto writer's The Outlander wins First Novel Award

A debut novel about a 19-year-old widow fleeing her ruthless brothers-in-law through the Rockies in the winter of 1903 has won the $7,500 First Novel Award.

A debut novel about a 19-year-old widow fleeing her ruthless brothers-in-law through the Rockies in the winter of 1903 has won the $7,500 First Novel Award.

The Outlander by Toronto's Gil Adamson was named best first Canadian novel on Wednesday evening.

The main character, Mary Boulton, is running for her life after killing her husband, and her journey is a picaresque race through the wilderness.

The novel has been hailed by critics as racy and suspenseful. It was also nominated for the Commonwealth Book Prize, the ReLit Award and the Trillium Award.

Adamson, who has written a poetry book, Ashland, and a collection of short stories, Help Me, Jacques Cousteau, took 10 years to write The Outlander.

Her book was one of six finalists for the First Novel Award, backed by Amazon and Books in Canada. The others were:

  • Soucouyant by David Chariandy.
  • The Letter Opener by Kyo Maclear.
  • The End of the Alphabet by C.S. Richardson.
  • Big White Knuckles by Brian Tucker.
  • Milk Chicken Bomb by Andrew Wedderburn.

Well-known writers such as Michael Ondaatje, Rohinton Mistry and Nino Ricci have previously won the award.

now