TORONTO â€” Yasuko Thanh could be in line for another significant literary prize as she lands on the short list for the $40,000 Amazon.ca First Novel Award.
The Victoria author is being recognized for “Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains” (Hamish Hamilton), which was awarded the $25,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize last year. Set in historical Vietnam, her novel tells a story of love, rebellion and colonial power based on the real-life Hanoi Poison Plot of 1908.
Winnipeg author Katherena Vermette also made the short list for “The Break” (House of Anansi), which was a 2016 finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
Nova Scotia writer Catherine Cooper is in the running for “White Elephant” (Freehand Books) and Vancouver-born, Montreal-based poet Kaie Kellough has a nod for “Accordeon” (ARP Books).
Rounding out the short list is “So Much Love” by Hamilton-born author Rebecca Rosenblum (McClelland & Stewart).
Now in its 41st year, the award has a lengthy history of honouring and launching the careers of notable Canadian novelists, with past winners including Michael Ondaatje, W.P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, Madeleine Thien, Joseph Boyden, David Bezmozgis and Andre Alexis.
The prize is co-presented by Amazon and the Walrus Foundation, with $40,000 awarded to the winner, and $7,000 apiece to the finalists.
The winner will be selected by a panel composed of head judge Tanis MacDonald, and award-winning authors Casey Plett and Gurjinder Basran.
Montreal-born author Mona Awad was awarded last year’s prize for “13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl” (Penguin Canada).
The winner of the 2017 Amazon.ca First Novel Award winner will be announced at a ceremony hosted by Shelagh Rogers at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto on May 25.
The Canadian Press