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The Malahat Review Announces 2012 Novella Prize Winner

About this year's judges:

Terence Young teaches English and writing at St. Michaels University School in Victoria, B.C., and co-founded The Claremont Review, a literary journal for young writers.  He has published five books, the most recent being The End of the Ice Age (Biblioasis, 2010). 

Valerie Compton is the author of a novel, Tide Road, (Goose Lane Editions, 2011) and numerous short stories. She was born on Prince Edward Island and now lives in Halifax. 

Gabriella Goliger’s new novel, Girl Unwrapped, won the 2011 Ottawa Book Award for fiction. It was chosen by readers of Ottawa Xpress newspaper as best book by a local author for 2011.

2012 Novella Prize Winner

The Malahat Review congratulates Naben Ruthnum of Vancouver, B. C. on winning our 2012 Novella Prize! His story, “Cinema Rex,” was chosen from 215 entries by our three final judges: Terence Young, Valerie Compton, and Gabriella Goliger. Ruthnum's novella will appear in our Summer, 2012 issue (#179). He was also awarded a $1500 CAD prize.

Naben Ruthnum

Of Ruthnum's story, the judges state: "'Cinema Rex' incorporates footnotes to explore a different kind of omniscience. The story, set in exotic Mauritius, follows three adolescent boys on the opening day of the town’s newest theatre, Cinema Rex. They skip school when they discover their teacher slumped over on his desk in a drunken sleep, and from there, events build to the evening’s entertainment, a translated version of The Night of the Hunter. Throughout, the footnotes move us forward in time to the boys’ adult lives, creating a kind of sympathetic cosmic irony. The language of 'Cinema Rex' is precise, the tone engaging,and the characters compelling. It has an unstoppable momentum, often surprising details, and vivid dialogue. This is a novella that has been pared to essentials, with every element working together."

Naben Ruthnum is currently based in Vancouver, and has recently completed a thriller set in Seattle. He writes short stories and is currently collaborating on a comic with artist Mark Hall-Patch.  

Congratulations to the finalists for the 2012 Novella Prize: Kris Bertin, Dan Mancilla, Matthew Mott, and Heather Tucker.

Watch for an interview with Naben Ruthnum on our website in June, 2012.

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