Saskatoon's Guy Vanderhaeghe claims Governor General's Award
Short story collection wins prestigious literary prize
Saskatoon's Guy Vanderhaeghe is known for sweeping Western novels steeped in Prairie history, but his third Governor General's Award for Fiction comes for a collection of short stories.
"I have to buy a new car, so this will help," Vanderhaeghe told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
Daddy Lenin and Other Stories was named the GG winner for 2015 today.
"Each story is superbly crafted, razor-sharp, wickedly funny. The reader is carried along in the hands of a master, a seasoned professional at the top of his game," said the jury, comprised of Jen Sookfong Lee, K.D. Miller and Jeffrey Moore.
It's Vanderhaeghe's first collection of short stories in more than 20 years.
"I wanted to see, to put it in a crude way, if I still had the chops to write short stories," the writer told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
According to Vanderhaeghe, the collection of stories is wide and varied in content and theme, but they share a common thread.
"Virtually all of them are set in Saskatchewan, which has been the basis of what I write since I began to write, so I like to think about them in some ways as about the place where I live," he said.
"I think that many of these characters have the slightly ironic long-suffering air of people who live in a place where the weather is bad, in the past the economy has been very tough. I think that they are about perseverance, and I think that's a quality that Saskatchewan people have."
Vanderhaeghe will be presented the award later at a ceremony in Ottawa.
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