Vancouver's Anakana Schofield wins First Novel Award for 'Malarky'

TORONTO - Vancouver author Anakana Schofield has won this year's First Novel Award.

The Irish-Canadian writer, who has a background in theatre and film, nabbed the $7,500 honour at a gala in Toronto Wednesday for "Malarky" (Biblioasis).

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The story of a mother facing grief in contemporary Ireland beat out four other finalists, including Montreal-based Kim Thuy's Governor General's Literary Award-winning "Ru."

Other finalists included "Y" by Vancouver native Marjorie Celona, Ottawa-based Scott Fotheringham's "The Rest Is Silence," and "People Park" by Toronto-based Pasha Malla.

"Malarky is a bold first novel from an author whose prose hums with electric wit and linguistic daring," Stuart Woods, editor of Quill & Quire and head judge for the 37th First Novel Award, said in a statement.

"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."

The winner was selected by a jury made up of John Degen, Meaghan Strimas, and Alexi Zentner.

Each finalist took home a $750 gift card to

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