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Awards: Heather O’Neill wins 2015 Danuta Gleed Literary Award

Heather O'Neill (photo: George Pimentel)

Heather O’Neill (photo: George Pimentel)

Heather O’Neill has been named winner of the $10,000 Writers’ Union of Canada’s Danuta Gleed Literary Award, for a debut collection of English-language short fiction by a Canadian. The Montreal author was recognized for her 2015 title, Daydreams of Angels(HarperCollins Canada).

O’Neill received the prize at a ceremony during the inaugural Canadian Writers’ Summit in Toronto, which took place June 15–19.

Jury members Shauna Singh Baldwin, Barry Dempster, and Dora Dueck called the book “a fanciful, fantastical collection of post-modern fairy tales,” saying in a press release: “Despite the sweetness at the core of almost every story, the book is filled with dark, often sticky, surprises. You’re guaranteed to come away both delighted and disturbed; she can go from the heights of glee to devilish anxiety in the space of a paragraph. Hers is a world of great imaginative alchemy. Whether she’s writing about shipwrecks, babies washed up on the beach or Rudolf Nureyev clones, she’s dead serious about her shape-shifting themes, fearless in the face of the wild and the absurd.”

Runners-up Andrew Forbes and Kevin Hardcastle each received a $500 prize for their respective titles, What You Need (Invisible Publishing) and Debris (Biblioasis).