TORONTO – Stories about a low-income Toronto neighbourhood and a dystopian future seen through the eyes of an Indigenous teenager are among the six English-language books shortlisted on Thursday for the 2018 Trillium Book Award.
They join three English poetry titles as finalists for the awards celebrating Ontario-based writers.
In the book category, Cherie Dimaline’s “The Marrow Thieves” (DCB/Cormorant Books) is among the contenders for her creation of a future world where Indigenous Peoples are hunted for their bone marrow. The story follows a 15-year-old who joins his friends in a struggle to reconnect with their families.
Dimaline received the Governor General’s Literary Award for English young people’s literature for the title last year.
Catherine Hernandez’s “Scarborough” (Arsenal Pulp Press) is also shortlisted. The book follows three children facing poverty, troubled families and a system that consistently falls short on the outskirts of Toronto.
Other authors in the book category include Kyo Maclear for “Birds Art Life” (Doubleday Canada) and James Maskalyk’s “Life on the Ground Floor” (Doubleday Canada).
Rounding out the short list are Rebecca Rosenblum for “So Much Love” (McClelland & Stewart) and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s “This Accident of Being Lost” (House of Anansi Press).
English-language poetry finalists are Pino Coluccio for “Class Clown” (Biblioasis), Puneet Dutt for “The Better Monsters” (Mansfield Press) and Phoebe Wang’s “Admission Requirements” (McClelland & Stewart). The poetry award is given to literary achievement for a first, second or third published work.
The five shortlisted French-language books are:
— Maurice Henrie, “Le poids du temps” (Les Presses de l’Universite d’Ottawa)
— Didier Leclair, “Le bonheur est un parfum sans nom) (Editions David)
— Alain Bernard Marchand, “Sept vies, dix-sept morts” (Les Herbes rouge)
— Blaise Ndala, “Sans capote ni kalachnikov” (Memoire d’encrier)
— Aurelie Resch, “Sous le soleil de midi” (Editions Prise de parole)
The three shortlisted French-language poetry titles are:
— Sylvie Berard, “Oubliez” (Editions Prise de parole)
— Chloe LaDuchesse, “Furies” (Mémoire d’encrier)
— Christian Milat, “Si je connaissais…” (Editions David)
This year’s winners will be announced in Toronto on June 21.
Recipients of the Trillium Book Award receive $20,000, and their respective publishers receive $2,500 to promote the winning titles. All finalists receive a $500 honorarium.
Poetry and French-language children’s literature winners each receive $10,000, and their publisher $2,000 for promotion of the titles. Finalists for these awards also receive a $500 honorarium.
Previous winners have included Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro.