Publisher finalist for major Canadian literary prize
One day last week an unusual package arrived at the office of Fernie publisher Oolichan Books.
Inside the package was a puzzle from the Writers’ Trust with the title “Be the first to piece together our Nonfiction Prize shortlist.” The 70 piece jigsaw puzzle revealed the names of the five finalists for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and on that list was ‘Cease – a memoir of love, loss and desire,’ published by Oolichan last fall.
The announcement lead to a flurry of activity with national media and the literary community offering praise and congratulations to author Lynette Loeppky of Calgary and Oolichan itself. The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction is the richest prize for Canadian nonfiction with $5000 for each author on the shortlist and $60,000 for the winner. Cease is shortlisted with four other titles with the winner to be announced at a gala event in Toronto on October 6.
The Writers’ Trust Jury describes Cease: “With unwavering honesty, Lynette Loeppky navigates labyrinths of hospital wards and the human heart—while asking hard questions about what we owe each other, what we owe ourselves. By turns poignant and poetic, brutal and reflective, Cease is a compelling character study and an unflinching look at the end of love. A remarkable debut by an assured and talented author, Cease will haunt readers long after they’ve turned the last page.”
“I’m happy and excited! This memoir was a long time in the making—first living the experiences and then writing about them—and it’s so gratifying to watch this story now make its way out into the world,” Loeppky said. “A big thank you to everyone at Oolichan Books for their belief in this book.”
Publisher Randal Macnair shared similar excitement and said, “So often it is the role of small presses to bring out the stories that are closest to the heart. It was an honour to work on Cease and we are ecstatic it is getting the recognition it deserves.”
Cease is a frank and compelling account of the curveballs that life throws, from love to illness. After an eight-and-a-half year relationship, just as Lyn begins to plan her exit, her partner Cecile falls seriously ill and Lyn is forced to become caregiver to the woman she had been planning to leave.
Cease is a story about how we love and why we stay, especially in a time of crisis.
Oolichan Books is a literary press that publishes Canadian poetry, literary fiction and nonfiction. Founded on Vancouver Island in 1974, publisher Randal Macnair acquired the press in 2010 and moved it to Fernie. Oolichan titles have won and been shortlisted for numerous regional, national and international literary awards.
Lynette Loeppky is a Calgary author who was born and raised on the Manitoba prairie by Mennonite parents. She has travelled extensively and lived for an extended time in Denmark. Loeppky began writing after receiving a BA in Russian Language and Literature. She studied creative writing under Aritha van Herk and received guidance and feedback throughout her work on Cease from Merilyn Simonds. Lynette now lives in Calgary with her dogs, Noddy and Charlie, who do an excellent job of getting her away from her computer and out into the elements on a daily basis. Cease is her first book.