'The Dishwasher' Author Stéphane Larue Wins the 2020 Amazon Canada First Novel Award

Canada NewsWire

Cate Freeborn wins the Youth Short Story category for "74 Percent of the Victims of Nonfamily Abductions are Girls"

SEATTLE, June 25, 2020 /CNW/ - (NASDAQ: AMZN)— Today, Amazon Canada and The Walrus announced that Stéphane Larue, author of The Dishwasher (Biblioasis/Biblioasis International Translation Series) is the winner of the forty-fourth annual Amazon Canada First Novel Award (www.amazon.ca/firstnovelaward), which celebrates first-time Canadian novelists. Larue, a resident of Longueuil, Quebec, receives a grand cash prize of $60,000.

The Dishwasher plunges the reader into a world where everyone depends on each other—for better or for worse. Translated into English by Pablo Strauss, the book is set in Montreal in October 2002. Awaiting payment for his first freelance gig, and caught in a web of lies to his family and friends, a graphic design student with a gambling addiction takes on a job as a dishwasher at the sophisticated La Trattoria restaurant. Thrust into a roiling cast of characters all moving with the whirlwind speed of the evening rush, it's not long before he finds himself in over his head once again.

The Dishwasher is available in print and Kindle editions on Amazon.ca as well as in audiobook format through Audible.ca

Larue's book was chosen from a shortlist of six works, which also included:

  • The Western Alienation Merit Badge, Nancy Jo Cullen (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers/Buckrider Books)
  • Going Dutch, James Gregor (Simon & Schuster)
  • Mooncalves, Victoria Hetherington (Now Or Never Publishing)
  • Aria, Nazanine Hozar (Penguin Random House Canada/Knopf Canada)
  • When We Were Vikings, Andrew David MacDonald (Simon & Schuster)

Each shortlisted novelist received a $6,000 cash prize. All of the shortlisted books are also available in print and Kindle editions on Amazon.ca. The Western Alienation Merit Badge, Going Dutch, Aria, and When We Were Vikings are all currently available as audiobooks through Audible.ca.

"As our country continues to band together amid the COVID-19 pandemic, never before have the arts been so important to our collective wellbeing," says Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault. "Not only do they forge lasting bonds among our many diverse communities, they also help reflect Canada's soul. Our government recognizes this, which is why we are a proud supporter of the arts across the country.

"Canadian literature, in particular, allows us to tell our many stories and share our Canadian values with the world. That is why, as Minister of Canadian Heritage, I would like to congratulate all the emerging authors celebrated today as part of the Amazon Canada First Novel Award announcement. Although we are not able to gather together in person, we can certainly show our appreciation for our talented writers by losing ourselves in a good story!"

Cate Freeborn, seventeen, Wins Youth Short Story Category

Now in its third 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 Cate Freeborn was chosen as the winner by the First Novel Award's panel of judges. The prize for her winning short story, "74 Percent of the Victims of Nonfamily Abductions are Girls," is $5,000, along with a virtual mentorship workshop with editors of The Walrus.

"It was an absolute pleasure to immerse myself in this winning piece and the shortlisted stories," said judge Chelene Knight. "Writing is a difficult act, one that takes years and years to sculpt and refine. To read this calibre of work from such a young writer is what makes me excited about the future of publishing."

Amazon Supports Canadian Authors and Young Readers

Though the decision was made to cancel the First Novel Award ceremony in light of the current circumstances, Amazon Canada—which has supported the First Novel Award for more than fifteen years—stands behind Canadian writers in these difficult times. A portion of the funds that were allocated for the physical event have been donated to the Canadian Writers' Emergency Relief Fund, and Audible.ca has generously agreed to match the donation. Amazon Canada looks forward to hosting the ceremony and celebrating debut novelists and aspiring writers again next year.

Additionally, from now until August 16, Amazon Canada is teaming up with First Book Canada on the third annual Buy a Book, Give a Book program. This initiative will provide 100,000 new books for kids in high-need communities across the country. This is an especially important time to support this cause given the devastating impact of COVID-19 on kids without access to books through libraries and schools. You can learn more at amazon.ca/buy1give1.

For additional information about the finalists and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, visitamazon.ca/firstnovelaward or thewalrus.ca/fna/.

About Amazon

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About The Walrus

The Walrus provokes new thinking and sparks conversation on matters vital to Canadians. As a registered charity, we publish independent, fact-based journalism in The Walrus and at thewalrus.ca; we produce national, ideas-focused events, including our flagship series The Walrus Talks; and we train emerging professionals in publishing and nonprofit management.

The Walrus is invested in the idea that a healthy society relies on informed citizens.

For more information, or to book an interview, please contact amirah@thewalrus.ca, or at 905 466 3624.

SOURCE Amazon Canada