Retired Mason among top six novelists vying for $60,000 prize

Brian Thomas Isaac was born in 1950 on the Okanagan Indian Reservation in British Columbia.HO/The Canadian Press

A retired 70-year-old bricklayer is among the top six novelists shortlisted for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

Brian Thomas Isaac, born in 1950 on the Okanagan Indian Reservation in south-central British Columbia, is a finalist for the $60,000 prize for his coming-of-age story, ‘All the Quiet Places”, published by Brindle & Glass.

Also on the shortlist is Aimee Wall, writer and translator, for Giller’s “We, Jane,” from Book*hug Press, exploring access to abortion in rural Newfoundland.

Other nominees include Métis-Ukrainian writer and educator Conor Kerr for his story about Indigenous youth, “Avenue of Champions,” from Nightwood Editions, and Métis and Nehiyaw author Lisa Bird-Wilson with her book on research. of an adopted woman. Indigenous Identity, “Probably Ruby,” published by Doubleday Canada.

Vancouver-born Pik-Shuen Fung is nominated for her portrayal of a bereaved Chinese-Canadian family in Strange Light’s ‘Ghost Forest’, while Ottawa-based Emily Austin is recognized for her story of an atheist lesbian working as a receptionist in a Catholic church in Atria Books’ “Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead”.

The award, which is co-presented by Amazon and the Walrus Foundation, will be presented at an in-person ceremony on June 1.

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