It is said that good news travels quickly and for author Kathy Page that is exactly what happened.
“I got a call from my publisher,” Page told the News Bulletin. “I could tell he was almost in tears. It made a very good start to the day.”
That’s because Page, who is also a creative journalism instructor at Vancouver Island University, was told that her book of short stories, Paradise and Elsewhere, had just been long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Giller Prize is the largest award given out for fiction books in Canada.
“I was absolutely delighted and surprised,” she said. “Not that I don’t think my book is worthy but there are so many good books.”
Page’s Paradise and Elsewhere is a collection of short stories and was published earlier this year by Windsor, Ont., company Biblioasis.
“The papers are always full of guesses as to who might be on it and it certainly wasn’t me,” Page said about the Giller Prize. “It’s a really big thing, not just for me but for them too.”
Page was born in the United Kingdom and has always had a knack for writing. As a young girl she got to travel around the Adriatic Sea in the Mediterranean on a cruise after winning a writing competition.
“Everywhere we went we would have a little lecture,” Page recalled about the cruise. "It wasn’t luxury cruising by any means, it was this battered old boat for precocious kids.”
In 1986, Page had her first novel, Back in the First Person, published. She explained that it was around that time that she knew she wanted a career as a writer.
“I think it was probably when I sent my first book off to a publisher and they bought it,” she said. “I probably picked the right publisher to send it to the first time. I was very lucky. I didn’t go through that usual process that people go through.”
Since then, Page, who moved to Canada in 2001 and resides on Salt Spring Island, has released a number of books including The Story of My Face, which was long-listed for an Orange Prize and Alphabet, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award in 2005.
“There is a downside to the prizes in that they leave a lot of good people out,” Page said about awards.
Page will find out if she wins the Giller Prize on Monday (Oct. 6). For more information, please visit www.kathypage.info.