It’s been a long time since my last post. No excuse. I’ll be better at this. But now seems like a good time to do an update, because there’ve been some amazing things happening for “The Evolution of Alice.”
Earlier this year, at the Manitoba Book Awards, after being nominated for four awards, including the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, “Alice” helped me win the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer.
Then, two things happened, and around the same time.
“Alice” was shortlisted for On The Same Page, a provincial-wide competition in place to get all Manitobans reading the same book at the same time. I was shortlisted with Miriam Toews (whose books I am in love with, including All My Puny Sorrows), Tomson Highway (I read Kiss of the Fur Queen over after hearing this, and it’s an amazing novel), and Maurice Mierau and his memoir “Detachment.” Two years ago, “7 Generations” was shortlisted and didn’t win, and against this competition, I was honoured to be in the mix but didn’t expect to win.
Next, “Alice” was also shortlisted for the Burt Award for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Literature. That was a big deal, and I was really excited for this honour as well. I was shortlisted with:
Grey Eyes by Frank Christopher Busch
(published by Roseway Publishing)
Lightfinder by Aaron Paquette
(published by Kegedonce Press)
Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
(published by McClelland and Stewart Ltd)
Skraeling by Rachel & Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley
(published by Inhabit Media)
Full disclosure, I did not make the final three, but it was a great experience to be considered and I wish the final three all the best!
The great news, though, was that “The Evolution of Alice” WON On The Same Page! I was shocked when I heard the news, and thrilled. Here is the official release about it:
On The Same Page announces this year’s book
Winnipeg, MB – Manitobans have selected The Evolution of Alice by David Robertson as this year’s featured book for the 8th annual On The Same Page, a province-wide reading initiative. The book is published by Portage & Main Press.
On The Same Page, a joint project between The Winnipeg Foundation and the Winnipeg Public Library, encourages all Manitobans to read and talk about the same book at the same time. The program includes book giveaways, author appearances and special events that will take place in early 2016.
One of four titles shortlisted for the 2015-16 On The Same Page program, The Evolution of Alice, garnered the most selections through online and in-person voting between June and September.
“I’m thrilled and humbled that The Evolution of Alice has been voted as the book to get all Manitobans ‘on the same page.’ It’s especially humbling considering the amazing books I was shortlisted with; I didn’t expect this. I want to thank The Winnipeg Foundation and the Winnipeg Public Library for this honour, and I hope Manitoba enjoys reading The Evolution of Alice,” said Robertson.
“The public continues to select compelling reads for On The Same Page,” said Rick Walker, Manager of Library Services. “David Robertson’s book, The Evolution of Alice, is a heart wrenching story, but one that also offers the reader a message of forgiveness and hope. The societal issues that underlie the story will make for interesting programming that you will not want to miss.”
“On The Same Page is a great community-building project that gets people reading and talking about important issues in our community. The Evolution of Alice will certainly inspire some powerful conversation,” says Richard Frost, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation.
The link to this release can be found right here.
All of this has left me with a new motivation and inspiration. I am currently working on a follow-up to “Alice” called “The Last Leaf in Autumn,” a tricky and difficult novel about intergenerational effects of the residential school system, and am starting work soon on a Young Adult mystery novel called “Strangers.” But that ones top secret! I also just finished my next graphic novel script and is in with my amazing publisher, Highwater Press. That one’s about Big Bear.
That’s it for now! You’ll see more books next year. Until then, enjoy the ones that are out now.
Talk to you soon,