Windsor-based writer Casey Plett has won the $60,000 Amazon Canada First Novel Award for Little Fish, a book exploring the life of a transgender woman.
The 43rd annual award, which celebrates first-time Canadian novelists, was announced Wednesday during a ceremony in Toronto.
Plett, originally from Winnipeg, wrote a novel exploring “the winter of discontent in the life of one transgender woman as her past and future become irrevocably entwined.”
“Whereas last year’s crop seemed more focused on Canada’s place in the world, with an emphasis on international conflict, this year’s most evocative writers have trained their gaze inward exploring the nuances of identity, history, and class that have systemically defined and divided Canadians,” said judge Dimitri Nasrallah.
Little Fish was chosen from a shortlist of six. The other finalists included The Amateurs by Liz Harmer, Searching for Terry Punchout by Tyler Hellard, Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq, Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead, and Reproduction by Ian Williams.
“Our most difficult job was to shortlist just six books out of dozens of contenders,” said judge Doretta Lau. “These books show us the power that story has to bring our communities together and how literature enriches our hearts, minds, and spirits.”
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