This is the third in a four part blog series showcasing the finalists of this year's 22nd Annual Hamilton Literary Awards. Find out which authors will take home the prizes by attending the gala celebration on Dec. 08, 2015 at Theatre Aquarius.
From a compelling story inspired by real life, to a historical fable for young adults, to a harrowing tale tackling vital social issues, the books in our 2015 Fiction shortlist offer a diversity of voices and approaches to storytelling. From Smoke River by Krista Foss, White Oneida by Jean Rae Baxter, and Carafola by Christine Miscione, each of these stories represents Hamilton storytelling that is both unique and engaging.
Krista Foss’ debut novel Smoke River describes the tensions between a Mohawk community and its neighbouring town after a proposed housing development turns into a land dispute. Loosely based on events in Caledonia, the narrative follows several characters on both sides of the conflict as they struggle through divisions, heartbreak, and terrible violence. This book is a fearless study of character, of family, and of the lines we draw and those we will cross for our beliefs, expertly positioned against luminous descriptions of the Southern Ontario landscape.
The White Oneida, Jean Rae Baxter’s latest historical novel for young adults, tells the story of Broken Trail, a young white boy captured and raised by the Oneida tribe. Under the influence of military leader Joseph Brant, Broken Trail attends a boarding school with the intention of uniting its students, the first step in creating an independent aboriginal nation. With honesty and strength, Baxter combines the best of history and fiction to bring us a harrowing tale of injustice, loyalty, and one boy’s journey to find himself in the midst of two very different worlds.
In Carafola, author Christine Miscione’s experimental style takes flight, depicting a woman’s tumultuous descent into mental illness. Relentlessly self-aware and often cynical, the narrator struggles through broken relationships, insecurities, and heavy losses during her early twenties, caught between the reality inside her head and the one out of it. With careful insight and beautifully raw prose, this novel speaks of vulnerability, of doubt and growth, and of the decisions that carry us forward.
This year's Award for Fiction is sponsored by:
Next: the finalists for the Kerry Schooley Award