25th Trillium Award

Trillium Testimonial: Martha Schabas

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This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Ontario's illustrious Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium. To celebrate this silver milestone, Open Book has asked members of the literary community to tell us what they love about their favourite award-winning Trillium title. If you're looking for a recommended read (or re-read), follow these Trillium Testimonials on Open Book: Ontario from now until the winners of the 2012 award competition are announced. Today, author Martha Schabas tells us why she's chosen Alice Munro’s Friend of My Youth (McClelland and Stewart), winner of the 1990 Trillium Book Award.

Open Book:

What do you love about this book?

Martha Schabas:

Many things, but the title story most of all. Munro is ruthless in her depiction of mothers and daughters. It’s such a vicious little story, an indictment of “goodness” and self-sacrifice, and then so sad, too.


When did you first read it?


Just last year. I came to Munro late because I read Lives of Girls and Women in high school and thought it was boring and parochial. I had to grow up a bit to get how terrifically smart, cynical and heartbreaking her writing can be.

Martha Schabas’ first novel Various Positions was named one of the “Best Books of 2011” by Quill & Quire, and among the “Best First Fiction of 2011” by The Globe and Mail. It was recently shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association’s 2012 Evergreen Award. Her articles, book reviews and fiction have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The New Quarterly, ELLE Canada, Broken Pencil, and Maisonneuve. She holds degrees from McGill University, Queen’s University, and the University of East Anglia, where she received the David Higham Literary Award, and she is also a graduate of George Brown Theatre School in Toronto. Martha is currently working on her second novel.

You could be reading your top Trillium titles on a new Kobo eReader! Click here for details on our Trillium 25th Anniversary Contest.

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