Kevin Hardcastle’s short-story collection Debris, a gritty, often violent debut that drew parallels to the work of Elmore Leonard and David Adams Richards when it was published last September, has won the 2016 Trillium Book Award.
Hardcastle was presented with the $20,000 prize at a ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday; his publisher, Biblioasis, receives $2,500.
It marks the second consecutive year that the prize, which recognizes the best writing by Ontario authors, has gone to a book of short fiction; last year’s prize was awarded to Kate Cayley for How You Were Born.
Debris was also a finalist for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award.
This year’s short list was dominated by independent publishers; the other finalists were Andrew Forbes for his short-story collection What You Need (Invisible Publishing); Robert Hough for his novel The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan (House of Anansi); Janette Platana for her short-story collection A Token of My Affliction (Tightrope Books); Karen Solie for her book of poems The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out (House of Anansi); and Lynn Crosbie for her novel Where Did You Sleep Last Night (House of Anansi).
The winner of the $10,000 English-language Trillium Book Award for Poetry was Soraya Peerbaye for Tell: poems for a girlhood, published by Pedlar Press, which was also a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize earlier this month.
The winners of the French-language prizes were Véronique-Marie Kaye, who took home the $20,000 Trillium Book Award for Marjorie Chalifoux, published by Éditions Prise de parole, and David Ménard, who won the $10,000 poetry prize for Neuvaines, published by Les Éditions L’Interligne.
Previous winners of the Trillium Book Award, which was established in 1987, include Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Alistair MacLeod.