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22nd Annual Hamilton Literary Awards: Kerry Schooley Award Finalists
Stephen Near

This is the fourth, and final, part of our 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.

For the third consecutive year, the Hamilton Literary Awards are proud to present the Kerry Schooley Book Award. In honour of the passion and legacy of its namesake, this award seeks to recognize literary works most evocative of the Hamilton region. Kerry Schooley, who passed away in 2010, was a poet, writer, and teacher devoted to supporting the city’s artistic community. This year, the Hamilton Arts Council is pleased to continue this tradition by introducing our three shortlisted titles for the award, each of which explores Hamilton’s rich and resilient past.

Novelist Chris Laing returns with his second installment of the Max Dexter Mystery Series, A Deadly Venture. Set in Hamilton during the 1940’s, this latest thriller once again details the exploits of private detective and veteran Max Dexter and his assistant Isabel – this time as they investigate the arrest of Max’s friend Roger Bruce after one of his wealthy clients is found dead. Their adventures will take them deep into the city’s mobster scene, and with Laing’s trademark craftsmanship and wit, the stakes have never been higher.

In Revenge on the Fly, Sylvia McNicoll brings us back to 1912, a year ravaged by disease and the efforts to control it. Her story centres around Will Alton, a twelve-year-old Irish immigrant who moves to Hamilton with his father after losing the rest of his family to widespread sickness. When Will hears of the local fly-catching contest, he sees an opportunity to not only support his father but to take revenge on the very thing that killed his mother and sister. Filled with historical insight and imagination, this is a novel for all ages about fear, prejudice, and the triumph of compassion. 

John Terpstra’s latest work, The House with the Parapet Wall, describes the author’s wanderings, both physical and emotional, following the loss of his mother. As he walks through the streets of his childhood home in Hamilton, he imagines the lives of the nineteenth-century inhabitants and their own experiences of grief. With beautifully styled prose, Terpstra explores the connections between past and present, life and death, brick and bone, and the power of place to define family.

This year's Kerry Schooley Award is sponsored by:

Tune in to #HamLitAwards to follow the 22nd Hamilton Literary Awards via Twitter and we'll see you Tuesday, Dec. 04, 2015.