The University of Victoria, on behalf of The Malahat Review, is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction is Matt Rader for his short story "All This Was a Long Time Ago," which appeared in The Malahat Review’s Fall 2013 issue (#184). Rader’s story was chosen for this award by Michael Crummey.
Established in honour of the celebrated Victoria novelist’s contribution to Canadian letters and to the University of Victoria, the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction recognizes the excellence of The Malahat Review’s contributors by awarding a prize of $1000 to the author of the best short story or novella to have appeared in the magazine during the previous calendar year. The winner, selected by an outside judge, is announced prior to the publication of The Malahat Review’s Spring issue.
Of Rader’s story, Crummey says: "My first read of Matt Rader’s 'All This Was a Long Time Ago' left me thinking, What the hell is this? It’s oddly paced and oddly balanced. The narrative comes across as much like an essay as a story. The present-day characters barely register on the surface. I had a hard time trying to say what it’s about exactly. Or why it affected me so deeply.
It’s still a bit of a mystery to me, in fact. The writing is terrific, the portrayal of the young James Joyce and Nora Barnacle is completely convincing. The insights into love and desire, into the ways in which art and life intersect without ever becoming one and the same, are uncontrived and compelling. The tension between the ephemeral details of the individual life and the relative permanence of something like Joyce’s 'The Dead' makes the whole thing ring like a bell.
But what the hell is it, exactly, and why does it work? Can’t say. It feels like real life. It feels like art. It’s a terrific story. My favourite of the fiction published in The Malahat Review last year."
Matt Rader's poems and stories have most recently appeared in The Walrus, Event, Grain, 32 Poems and B O D Y. The author of three books of poetry, his first collection of stories, What I Want To Tell Goes Like This, is forthcoming from Nightwood Editions in Fall 2014.
Michael Crummey has published four books of poetry, a book of stories, and three novels. His most recent novel, Galore, won the Canadian Authors' Association Fiction Award, the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book (Canada & Caribbean Region), and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Award and the Governor General's Award. His latest book is the poetry collection, Under the Keel. He lives in St. John's.
Jack Hodgins was born in Comox on Vancouver Island in 1938, and raised in the logging community of Merville. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, he moved to Nanaimo, where he taught high school English until 1979. He has been a writer-in-residence at Simon Fraser University and the University of Ottawa, and taught fiction in the Department of Writing, University of Victoria, from 1983 to 2004. His first collection of stories, Spit Delaney’s Island (1976) established him as a presence in Canadian writing, bringing his distinctive perspective on Vancouver Island to readers in book after book. His third, The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne (1979), won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 1980. His other books include The Honorary Patron (1987), Innocent Cities (1990), A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction (1993), The Macken Charm (1995), Broken Ground (1998), and Damage Done By the Storm (2004). He is a recipient of the Eaton’s BC Book Award, the Gibson’s First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Literature Prize, the Canada-Australia Prize, the Terasen Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.
photo by Darren Stone/
For more information about the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction and how you may support it through a donation, please email The Malahat Review.