Caitlin Mah Wins the Youth Short Story Category for “Mei-Ying, the Heavens Are Crying”
TORONTO, June 1, 2022 /CNW/ – Amazon Canada and The Walrus have announced that Pik-Shuen Fung, author of Ghost Forest (Strange Light), is the winner of the 2022 Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Fung was announced as the winner during the in-person ceremony this evening at The Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto, where she also took home the $60,000 cash prize that is awarded to the winner by Amazon Canada.
“How do you grieve if your family doesn’t talk about feelings?”
This is the question the unnamed protagonist of Ghost Forest considers after her father dies. One of many Hong Kong “astronaut” fathers, he stays in the region to work while the rest of the family immigrates to Canada before the 1997 handover, when the British returned sovereignty over Hong Kong to China. As she revisits memories of her father through the years, she struggles with unresolved questions and misunderstandings. Turning to her mother and grandmother for answers, she discovers her own life refracted brightly in theirs.
Fung’s book was chosen from a shortlist of six works that also included the following novels:
- Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead, Emily Austin (Atria)
- Probably Ruby, Lisa Bird-Wilson (Penguin Random House Canada/Doubleday Canada)
- All the Quiet Places, Brian Thomas Isaac (TouchWood Editions/Brindle & Glass)
- Avenue of Champions, Conor Kerr (Nightwood Editions)
- We, Jane, Aimee Wall (Book*hug Press)
Each shortlisted novelist received a $6,000 cash prize from Amazon Canada. All of the books (including the winning novel) are available in print and Kindle editions on amazon.ca. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead, Probably Ruby, All the Quiet Places, and We, Jane are also currently available as audiobooks through audible.ca.
Now in its fifth year, the Youth Short Story category celebrates authors between the ages of thirteen and seventeen who have written a short story under 3,000 words. Seventeen-year-old Mah was chosen as the winner by the First Novel Award’s panel of judges. The prize for her winning short story, “Mei-Ying, the Heavens Are Crying,” is $5,000 and a virtual mentorship workshop with the editors of The Walrus. Her story will be published on thewalrus.ca later this year.
“I talk to thousands of children each year, across North America, and I talk to them about the importance of stories. I tell them how important it is to tell their stories, because we need their truths, both today and tomorrow. In all the incredible submissions, I felt so much hope. There was talent and passion and truth in every piece, and it was not only an honour to read them, but it was also an exciting glimpse into the future and what’s in store. We are in good hands,” said David A. Robertson, the 2022 Youth Short Story category judge.
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SOURCE Amazon Canada