The Writers’ Trust / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize is an annual prize that celebrates the best of Canada’s new writing. The selected writing appears in the anthology The Journey Prize Stories, published by McClelland & Stewart. Below are eight writers whose work has appeared in the anthology along with their most recently published book.
The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake (Doubleday): Winner of the 2016 Canada-Japan Literary Award. “At once an intriguing mystery about a missing girl, and a coming-of-age tale of another girl desperate to find her, The Translation of Love tells a commanding story about identity, redemption, and healing that’s not to be missed.” —Bustle
Sweet Affliction by Anna Leventhal (Invisible Publishing): By turns caustic, tender, and creepily hilarious, Sweet Affliction reveals the frailties, perversions, and resilience of Anna Leventhal’s cast of city-dwellers. “One of the most successful, high-function, sometimes perfect collections of short stories I’ve read in recent memory.” — Andrew Hood (The Cloaca)
Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz (House of Anansi): Beena and Sadhana are sisters who share a bond and shared tragedy. Together, they try to make sense of the rich, confusing brew of values, rituals, and beliefs that form their inheritance. “The wisdom of such a young novelist is staggering.” Toronto Star
The Road Narrows as You Go by Lee Henderson (Hamish Hamilton): The portrait of a young woman struggling to find her place and an unflinching depiction of the 1980s, an uncertain but deeply vibrant era.
Life on Mars by Lori McNulty (Goose Lane Editions): Life on Mars devours life’s numbing tragedies and exhilarating passions with ravenous appetite. “There is true delight to be found in this menagerie of damaged individuals, all valiantly striving to hold on to their inherent dignity in the face of severe (sometimes ridiculous) obstacles.” — Publishers Weekly
In the Cage by Kevin Hardcastle (Biblioasis): A feared cage fighter in Mixed Martial Arts, Daniel is closing in on greatness ― until an injury derails his career. In the Cage weaves together a tale of violence, family, and what it means to survive in the rural underclass. “The architecture of this first novel is faultlessly conceived … And, speaking strictly as a former wrestler, the details are true.” – John Irving
The Utility of Boredom: Baseball Essays by Andrew Forbes (Invisible Publishing): With the slow heartbreak familiar to anyone who’s cheered on a losing team, The Utility of Boredom tells of how a seemingly trivial game might help us make sense of our messy lives. “[Forbes] can tell a whole story in an opening sentence that leaves me cheering in the stands.” — Electric City Magazine
The Most Heartless Town by Elaine McCluskey (Anvil Press): The Most Heartless Town in Canada looks at media agendas, amateur sport, family dynamics, and the divide between rural and urban Canada. ”McCluskey’s writing is so good, her characters so richly drawn, and the payoff so great — in heart and humour both — that you’ll be happy to follow these sentences down any avenue, and all over town.” — Pickle Me This