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M&S to publish award-winning author Claire Battershill’s debut collection

Not yet 30 years old, Claire Battershill has already amassed the kind of résumé many writers would kill for.

A Ph.D. in English literature and book history, the native of Dawson Creek, B.C., now teaches at the University of Reading in the U.K. She worked briefly as a researcher for Margaret Atwood, contributing to the author’s eerily prescient 2008 Massey Lectures, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. Battershill’s short story, “Circus,” won the 2008 CBC Literary Award for Short Fiction and shared the Emerging Writers Award from the Canadian Authors Association.

Another of Battershill’s stories, “The Collective Name for Ninjas,” has just been shortlisted for the inaugural PEN International/New Voices Award. The winner of the prize, which is open to unpublished writers between the ages of 18 and 30, will be announced on Sept. 11 at the PEN International 2013 Congress in Iceland.

Canadian readers who want to see what all the fuss is about should mark April 2014 on their calendars. Anita Chong, senior editor at McClelland & Stewart, has signed Battershill’s debut collection, also titled Circus. The book is slated to appear under M&S’s Emblem Editions imprint.