Congratulations to Kerry-Lee Powell of Moncton, NB on winning The Malahat Review’s 2013 Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction! Her story, “Palace of the Brine” was chosen by judge, Alissa York. Powell’s story will appear in their Fall, 2013 issue (#184). She was also awarded a $1000 CAD prize.
Of Powell’s story, York says:
“‘Palace of the Brine’ is a literary high-wire act, not for the faint of heart. The denizens of the crumbling Coronet Hotel are at home with brutality; it’s the organizing principle of the life they’ve come to know. This is fiction’s ‘unflinching eye’ at its most powerful, the gaze that spies out the heartbreaking cycle of human cruelty and refuses to look away. A reader might buckle under the weight of the world portrayed, if it weren’t for the beauty of the prose itself, the imagery that rings on in the subconscious long after the closing line.
Witness a seemingly heartless stripper caught in a vulnerable moment: ‘Marie-Odile shivers and reties the sash of her kimono, then pats the wrinkled butterflies in her lap.’ What’s more, there’s an unusual friendship at the core of the Coronet. Hard-as-nails housekeeper Vlada, one of life’s true survivors, takes refuge in hygiene and dark humour, and brews up soup in the basement for her unhappy protégé. The narrator, herself a cleaner-cum-stripper-in-decline, admires Vlada’s pluck; indeed, the elderly cleaner provides her with the closest thing she’s known to a blueprint of how to live.”
Kerry-Lee Powell was born in Montreal and grew up in Antigua and the United Kingdom, where she obtained a BA in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and a Master’s Degree in Writing and Literature from Cardiff University. Her work has appeared in The Spectator, Magma, and The Boston Review. She is the 2011 winner of The New Quarterly‘s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest and was recently nominated for a National Magazine Award and a Pushcart Prize. In 2013, she won The Boston Review fiction contest and the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick’s Alfred G. Bailey manuscript prize. Her debut collection of poetry is forthcoming from Biblioasis Press in 2014. She is currently writing a novel.
Watch for an interview with Kerry-Lee Powell on The Malahat Review website in September, 2013.