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Press Release Announces the 2012 First Novel Award Winner: Anakana Schofield for Malarky

Canada NewsWire

TORONTO, April 24, 2013 /CNW/ - This evening, presented the 2012 First Novel Award and a cheque for $7,500 to Anakana Schofield, author of Malarky (Biblioasis), at a ceremony hosted by award-winning broadcaster, writer, musician, producer and best-selling author, Jian Ghomeshi, at The Four Seasons in Toronto. Schofield was selected to receive the award from a shortlist of five authors, all of whom had their first novels published in 2012.

Anakana Schofield is an Irish-Canadian writer of fiction, essays and literary criticism.  Her first novel, Malarky, is the story of an Irish mother forced to look grief in the eye and of a wife who comes face-to-face with the mad agony of longing. Anakana Schofield has also contributed to the London Review of Books, The Globe and Mail and The Vancouver Sun. She has lived in London and Dublin and now resides in Vancouver.

Along with Schofield, the 2012 First Novel Award finalists are Marjorie Celona for Y (Hamish Hamilton Canada), Scott Fotheringham for The Rest Is Silence (Goose Lane Editions), Pasha Malla for People Park (House of Anansi Press), and Kim Thúy for Ru (Random House Canada).  Each finalist took home a $750 gift card to

" would like to thank and congratulate all the first-time novelists who participated in the 2012 First Novel Award," said Steve Oliver, country manager for "Every year, we are thrilled and inspired by emerging Canadian authors that captivate audiences through their written word. Being able to recognize their achievements and provide a platform to showcase their talent is an honour."

Now in its 37th year, the First Novel Award continues to recognize and award outstanding achievement by first-time Canadian novelists. Recent winners include David Bezmozgis, who won the award in 2011 for The Free World, Eleanor Catton for The Rehearsal (2010), Jessica Grant for Come, Thou Tortoise (2009), Joan Thomas for Reading by Lightning (2008) and Gil Adamson for The Outlander (2007). Since 1976, the First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of Canada's most beloved novelists, including Michael Ondaatje, Joan Barfoot, Joy Kogawa, W.P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels and André Alexis.

The 2012 shortlist was selected by Stuart Woods, Editor of Quill & Quire, from entries submitted to the magazine. Before working as a print journalist, Woods worked as an Editor at the Montreal publishing house Price-Patterson.  He is a graduate of the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The winner was selected from the shortlist by a three-person jury comprised of: John Degen, the Executive Director of The Writers' Union of Canada; Meaghan Strimas, the Academic Coordinator for creative writing at the University of Guelph; and author Alexi Zentner, whose first novel, Touch, was nominated for the 2011 First Novel Award.

"Malarky is a bold first novel from an author whose prose hums with electric wit and linguistic daring," says Stuart Woods. "The novel traverses darkly comic territory with intelligence and poise, relating the story of an unnamed narrator whose resilience in the face of life's disappointments will stay with readers long after the verbal pyrotechnics have dissipated. Anakana Schofield is a true original, and her novel is a delight."

For more information about the First Novel Award, please go to is accepting submissions for the 2013 First Novel Award until November 1, 2013.

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