V. V. Ganeshananthan wins Carol Shields Prize for Fiction with ‘Brotherless Night’

V.V. Ganeshananthan has been announced as the winner of this year’s Carol Shields Prize for Fiction for her novel “Brotherless Night,” npr.org reports.

The prestigious award, in its second year, celebrates English-language writing by women and nonbinary authors, offering a generous $150,000 prize. 

Ganeshananthan’s novel delves into the complexities of the Sri Lankan Civil War, narrated through the lens of a young woman named Sashi, whose aspirations of becoming a doctor are thwarted by the conflict. Speaking to WBUR’s Here & Now in 2023, Ganeshananthan explained her interest in exploring the “gray space between militarized societies and questions of choice and coercion.”

The prize jury praised Brotherless Night as an “ambitious and beautifully written” work, highlighting the way the characters prompt readers to reconsider how history is narrated and whose truths are represented.

The Carol Shields Prize, named after the Canadian Pulitzer Prize-winning author who passed away in 2003, is known for its significant monetary award, surpassing most literary prizes with its $150,000 prize money. Additionally, winners are offered a residency at the picturesque Fogo Island Inn, located on the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Among the shortlisted books were Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton, Daughter by Claudia Dey, Coleman Hill by Kim Coleman Foote, and A History of Burning by Janika Oza. Finalists will receive $12,500 each.

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