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2018 Atlantic Book Awards Shortlists

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The Atlantic Book Awards Society is pleased to announce the shortlist for the twelve different book prizes comprising the 2018 Atlantic Book Awards. The nominated titles represent a wide range of books from Atlantic Canada—everything from history to kids’ books. The Awards will be given out in Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library, on Thursday, May 10 at 7:00 p.m. This year’s Pioneer Award will also be awarded to someone from Nova Scotia who has made a substantial contribution to the literary life of the region.
Scars and Other Stories
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction
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Barrelling Forward
Excerpt

The Lodge

“Your mother thought you might like to have these for your new place.” Walt’s father had arrived unannounced, holding a set of pressed curtains in a grocery bag.

“You’re cooking,” his father said. Walt realized he’d brought the spatula to the door with him.

“Just breakfast.” Walt heard the shower shut off, the pipes stuttering in the wall.

“There’s someone here?”

“A friend. He’s helping me move.”

His father passed him the package, little beads of rain still on the bag. Walt’s father edged his way into the apartment as Walt stepped backwards to make room for him.

“New windows?” His father looked around in the living room.

“It’s renovated.” Walt skimmed a hand along the sharp hairs growing on his jawbone. He was aware of the heat spreading across his face.

“Good, it’s easier to keep a new place clean. We drove by and saw you didn’t have any curtains up and your mother thought you might like to have some.”

The door to the bathroom opened, the hall flooding with warm damp air and the smell of shampoo. Trent was wearing jeans and a t-shirt but his feet were bare. His hair was dripping, making dark circles on his shirt.

“Trent, this is my Dad.”

Trent took three steps down the hall and held out his hand. His feet leaving wet smudges on the floor. Walt’s back was against the closet door, which was made of thin strips of wood held together with a rubbery plastic. The door creaked against the weight of his body.

“I’m Trent.” Trent extended his hand. He was taller and broader than Walt’s father.

Suddenly, the apartment filled with a high-pitched bleating. At first it sounded like a bird but the louder it got the more mechanical it sounded. For a moment the three men stood staring at each other, paralyzed by the sound. Trent had dropped Walt’s father’s hand but they were still standing close enough to be touching. Walt held the curtains protectively against his chest. Trent’s dog barked on the back deck.

“It’s the fire alarm,” Trent said. “There’s something burning. Do you smell something burning?”

“It’s toast. I was making toast under the broiler,” Walt replied before darting out of the room.

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction
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Peninsula Sinking
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction, for the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Boyne Clarke LLP
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The Painting
Excerpt

CLAIRE
I was cold. I struggled up through a dream of long white corridors and breaking glass into my freezing bedroom, which was filled with the white light of the full moon. An icy Atlantic breeze inched its way through the gaps in the window frame and slithered around my bed.
I jumped up, ran to the trunk in the corner and hauled out a red woolen blanket. As I turned to get back in bed, the moon pulled at me, and I wrapped the blanket around my shoulders and sat down in the big stuffed armchair. The glowing disc of the moon spilled light in a wide path across the water.
The beacon from the lighthouse flashed over the silver sea, a steady rhythm, every five seconds. Like a heartbeat. Like a drum.
“Annie,” I whispered. “Where are you?”

ANNIE
The first time I had the dream was the night of Mom’s accident. The house was quiet. A stillness spread out from my parents’ room.
I lay there for a long time, listening. The curtains were open and a full, silvery moon shone in the window, as bright as a streetlight. Its beam fell on the painting of a Newfoundland lighthouse opposite my bed. It looked different than it did in daylight, transformed by the moonlight into black and white, with sharper outlines and deeper shadows.
A white seabird with black-tipped wings swooped across the dark clouds—I blinked. For just a second I thought I had actually seen the bird moving across the painted surface. I sat up. As I watched, another bird leaped forward and dived into the silver ocean with a splash.
“Annie!” called a faraway voice. I scrambled out of bed.
“Annie!” called the voice again. There was something familiar about it, but it wasn’t coming from downstairs, nor from my parents’ bedroom down the hall. I turned and stared at the painting. I took a step toward it. Now I could see more details: patches of wildflowers by the side of the road leading to the lighthouse, a few sheep grazing on the hill, lights glowing behind the windows of the keeper’s house.
Suddenly the blades of grass in the foreground trembled. A wave passed through the meadow grasses. Then another. I felt a gust of wind on my face, and a wild, unfamiliar smell filled the room. I could taste salt on my lips and I could hear the seabirds crying as they swooped across the sky.
“Annie!” cried the voice again. “Come!”
I took a step forward.
Then I was inside the painting, standing on the road to the lighthouse, with a surprised sheep raising its head to stare at me and the dark ocean stretching away as far as I could see.

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature
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Polly MacCauley's Finest, Divinest, Woolliest Gift of All
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature
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The Memory Chair
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature
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The Mill

The Mill

Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest
edition:Paperback
tagged :
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing, the Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-fiction), Presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth, the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing. the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award
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Steal Away Home

Steal Away Home

One Woman's Epic Flight to Freedom - And Her Long Road Back to the South
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing
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