We’re thrilled to share that Querelle of Roberval by Kevin Lambert, translated by Donald Winkler (August 2, 2022) is a finalist for the 2022 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction!
The shortlist was announced at 10AM ET on September 14, 2022. You can read the full shortlist here.
The judges’ citation states: “Kevin Lambert’s fearless novel is a profane, funny, bleak, touching, playful, and outrageous satire of sexual politics, labour, and capitalism. In ecstatic and cutting prose, it gleefully illuminates both the broad socio-political tensions of life in a Quebec company town and the intimate details of sex, lust, loneliness, and gay relationships in such a place. Like its central character, the book is brash, beautiful, quasi-mythic, and tragic. Most improbably, for all its daring and provocation, Querelle of Roberval is lyrically, even tenderly written.”
Publisher Dan Wells said this about the shortlisting: “I am so pleased for Kevin, and for Don Winkler, Querelle‘s exceptional translator, and grateful to the Writers’ Trust jury for understanding that the novel’s various discomforts, savage as some of them may be, are always perfectly aligned to the book’s spirit and purpose. This is classic tragedy with a twist, and I’m thrilled that this nomination will help us bring Kevin’s and Don’s work to a wider range of readers than might otherwise have been the case.”
Named in honour of Writers’ Trust co-founders and literary couple Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, who started the organization in 1976 with the help of a few fellow writers and an aim to encourage a Canadian literary culture at home, the Atwood Gibson Prize recognizes writers of exceptional talent for the best novel or short story collection of the year.
The finalists are selected by a three-member, independent judging panel and the $60,000 winner is announced at the annual Writers’ Trust Awards. The award is generously funded by Canadian businessman and philanthropist Jim Balsillie.
Grab your copy of Querelle of Roberval here!
Shortlisted for the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
Homage to Jean Genet’s antihero and a brilliant reimagining of the ancient form of tragedy, Querelle of Roberval, winner of the Marquis de Sade Prize, is a wildly imaginative story of justice, passion, and murderous revenge.
As a millworkers’ strike in the northern lumber town of Roberval drags on, tensions start to escalate between the workers—but when a lockout renews their solidarity, they rally around the mysterious and magnetic influence of Querelle, a dashing newcomer from Montreal. Strapping and unabashed, likeable but callow, by day he walks the picket lines and at night moves like a mythic Adonis through the ranks of young men who flock to his apartment for sex. As the dispute hardens and both sides refuse to yield, sand stalls the gears of the economic machine and the tinderbox of class struggle and entitlement ignites in a firestorm of passions carnal and violent. Trenchant social drama, a tribute to Jean Genet’s antihero, and a brilliant reimagining of the ancient form of tragedy, Querelle of Roberval, winner of France’s Marquis de Sade Prize, is a wildly imaginative story of justice, passion, and murderous revenge.
Born in 1992, Kevin Lambert grew up in Chicoutimi, Quebec. He earned a master’s degree in creative writing at the Université de Montréal. His widely acclaimed first novel, You Will Love What You Have Killed, was a finalist for Quebec’s Booksellers’ Prize. His second novel, Querelle of Roberval, won France’s Marquis de Sade Prize, and was a finalist for the prestigious Prix Médicis and the literary prize of the Paris newspaper Le Monde. In Canada, Querelle of Roberval won the Prix Ringuet of the Quebec Academy of Arts and Letters, was a finalist for the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal and won or was a finalist for six other literary prizes. Kevin Lambert lives in Montreal.
Donald Winkler is a translator of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. He is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for French-to-English translation. He lives in Montreal.