Nfld. & Labrador

Wangersky wins Winterset literary prize

A St. John's pundit has won Newfoundland and Labrador's top literary award for his debut novel.

A St. John's pundit has won Newfoundland and Labrador's top literary award for his debut novel.

Russell Wangersky, a columnist for the St. John's Telegram, has won this year's BMO Winterset award for his novel, The Glass Harmonica. The book deals with residents of a St. John's neighbourhood as they deal with a murder in their midst.

The prize honours the best writing in Newfoundland and Labrador and was founded by journalist Richard Gwyn to honour the memory of his late wife, St. John's-born writer Sandra Gwyn.

Wangersky edged out fellow nominees — and fellow debut novelists — Samuel Thomas Martin, author of This Ramshackle Tabernacle, and Craig Francis Power for his novel Blood Relatives.

Wangersky had been nominated for a Winterset prize for a 2006 collection of short stories, The Hour of Bad Decisions. His 2008 memoir Burning Down the House: Fighting Fires and Losing Myself won several prizes.

Previous winners of the prize over its decade-long history have included Kathleen Winter, Michael Crummey and two-time winner Joan Clark.