June 19th, 2024

Mohawk writer Alicia Elliott wins Amazon Canada First Novel Award

By The Canadian Press on June 6, 2024.

Haudenosaunee author Alicia Elliott poses for a portrait at the offices of Penguin Random House Canada in Toronto, Thursday, March 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

TORONTO – Alicia Elliott has won the prestigious Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

She took home the $60,000 prize for “And Then She Fell,” which follows an Indigenous woman made to feel like an impostor in her wealthy Toronto neighbourhood while she tires to write a modern retelling of the Haudenosaunee creation story.

Elliott is a Mohawk writer who lives in Brantford, Ont.

She was previously shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction for her memoir “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground.”

Runners-up, who each receive $6,000, are “Empty Spaces” by Jordan Abel; Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall for “Tauhou;” “The Berry Pickers” by Amanda Peters; Janika Oza’s “A History of Burning;” and “As the Andes Disappeared,” written by Caroline Dawson and translated by Anita Anand.

Billy-Ray Belcourt, one of this year’s judges, says the short list offers a “panoramic view of the novel in 21st century Canada.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2024.

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