Congratulations to Nightwood author Matt Rader, whose short story, “All This Was a Long Time Ago” is the winner of The Malahat Review‘s 2014 Jack Hodgin’s Founder’s Award for Fiction! The story, which appeared in the Fall 2013 edition of The Malahat Review, will also be featured in Rader’s first short story collection, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This, which Nightwood is proud to announce that we’ll be publishing this fall.
The Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award was established in honour of the celebrated Victoria novelist’s contribution to Canadian letters and to the University of Victoria. It awards a prize of $1000 to the author of the best short story or novella to have appeared in The Malahat Review during the previous calendar year and is selected by an outside judge – this time, award-winning author Michael Crummey.
According to The Malahat Review, Crummey had this to say about the story: “My first read of Matt Rader’s ‘All This Was a Long Time Ago’ left me thinking, What the hell is this? It’s oddly paced and oddly balanced. The narrative comes across as much like an essay as a story. The present-day characters barely register on the surface. I had a hard time trying to say what it’s about exactly. Or why it affected me so deeply.
“It’s still a bit of a mystery to me, in fact. The writing is terrific, the portrayal of the young James Joyce and Nora Barnacle is completely convincing. The insights into love and desire, into the ways in which art and life intersect without ever becoming one and the same, are uncontrived and compelling. The tension between the ephemeral details of the individual life and the relative permanence of something like Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ makes the whole thing ring like a bell.
“But what the hell is it, exactly, and why does it work? Can’t say. It feels like real life. It feels like art. It’s a terrific story. My favourite of the fiction published in The Malahat Review last year.”
Matt Rader is the author of three books of poems: A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle over the River Arno (House of Anansi, 2011), Living Things (Nightwood Editions, 2008), and Miraculous Hours (Nightwood Editions, 2005), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and long-listed for the ReLit Award. His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in The Walrus, Prism International, The Fiddlehead, The Journey Prize Anthology, as well as many other publications across North America. Rader’s poetry has also been nominated for numerous awards, including the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. He lives in Cumberland, BC.