Linda Spalding’s newest novel, The Purchase, has been awarded the Governor General’s Literary Prize for Fiction
Governor General’s lit prize winners led by women
Women dominate the winner’s circle for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards, with authors Linda Spalding and Susin Nielsen, and illustrator Isabelle Arsenault among this year’s English-language laureates.
The Canada Council for the Arts, which administers the annual literary honour, revealed this year’s recipients in Montreal on Tuesday morning.
The awards offer “not only a chance to honour our very best books, but it is also a chance to pay tribute to Canadians who are rising stars in the world of literature,” Gov. Gen. David Johnson said in a statement.
“I congratulate all the winners who have worked hard to add their tale to our collective memories.”
Vancouver author Susin Nielsen won for her children’s book The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen. (Tundra Books/Random House)
Toronto’s Spalding earned the fiction prize for her book The Purchase, a historical tale looking back at the lives of slaves and slave owners that was inspired by stories from her ancestors, who were Quakers. The jury praised Spalding’s writing as “warm, dignified prose” in its citation.
“An historical novel about race, religion and family, Linda Spalding’s The Purchase is refreshingly free of retrospective judgment.”
Historical story impressively original, darkly rendered
“THE Purchase is a literary novel, in the sense it focuses on character, psychology and morality, as much as plot.
But it also has a fine, albeit slowly evolving, plot, wrapped in a darkly rendered gem of an historical story.”
National Post October 5, 2012
Open Book: The Purchase, by Linda Spalding
“Linda Spalding’s novel The Purchase is as engrossing as it is partly because it is set in a time, the dawn of the 19th century, and a place, the frontier society of slave-owning Virginia, where bad judgment could very easily prove fatal.”
Linda Spalding’s haunting spin on the plantation novel