Siblings duke it out for Canadian literary prize
For some, sibling rivalry means arguing over who does the dishes. For Michael and Kathleen Winter, it means competing for one of the country’s top literary prizes. They’ve both written novels nominated for this year’s Writer’s Trust Prize, and though the winner will take home $25,000, Kathleen told the CBC that “Any idea of competition doesn’t even enter my mind.” Uh, sure. In addition to the Writer’s Trust, Kathleen’s first book, Annabel, has also been nominated for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award. Together these prizes make up the triple crown of CanLit, and Winter says she’s hopeful the recognition will mean more people will read her book.
Annabel follows the coming-of-age story of Wayne, an intersex child growing up in a small Labrador town in the 1970s. Wayne’s father decides to raise him as a boy, while his mother has more complicated feelings about her son’s gender identity. Annabel will face off against Michael’s The Death of Donna Whalen, a work of documentary fiction based on the real-life 1993 murder of a St. John’s woman named Brenda Young. With four books and numerous awards and nominations under his belt, Michael is undoubtedly the more experienced novelist, but he faces some stiff competition from his big sis. Apparently non-existent rivalries aside, though, chances are they’ll both be happy so long as it stays in the family.