A.J. Somerset wins Metcalf-Rooke Award

November 24, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

London, Ontario-based writer (and frequent TSR commenter) A.J. Somerset has won the 2009–2010 Metcalf-Rooke Award for his novel Combat Camera, the first time in the award’s history that it has not gone to a collection of short stories.

From the press release:

Combat Camera by A.J. Somerset is that very rare thing, a really superbly realized Canadian novel. It concerns Lucas Zane, a celebrated photographer who has burned out emotionally after covering battles in most of the wars of the late twentieth century. He has come to the end in Toronto, drunk, halluncinatory, all ambition fled. He earns the rent by taking photographs for Richard Barker, an impresario of shoestring-budget pornographic movies. On the set he meets “Melissa” and the novel explores their involvement.

John Metcalf calls the book “one of the finest Canadian novels [he has] ever read.”

As the recipient of this year’s award, Somerset receives a $1,500 cash prize from Steven Temple Books, a publication contract with Biblioasis, a TINARS launch event in Toronto, an appearance at the Ottawa Writers Festival,  and coverage in The New Quarterly and Canadian Notes and Queries.

Combat Camera is scheduled to appear in September 2010.

The other nominees for the award were:

Laura Boudreau, A Cat Starving Its Way Through Winter
Daniel Griffin, Stopping for Strangers
Laura Palomba, Measuring Spoons
Cathy Stonehouse, Something About the Animals