news | Thursday September 19, 2013

Talonbooks Author Martine Desjardins Wins 2013 Sunburst Award

We are pleased to announce Maleficium, a novel by Martine Desjardins, as the recipient of the 2013 Sunburst Award! We also congratulate Fred A. Reed and David Homel, the excellent translators of this book.

The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a juried award celebrating the best in speculative fiction published in Canada the previous calendar year. The award celebrates the best of genre fiction that includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, and surrealism.

On September 18, 2013, the Sunburst Award Society (Toronto) announced its 2013 winner of the adult category as Maleficium by Quebec author Martine Desjardins. Translated into English by Fred A. Reed and David Homel, the novel takes its title from a Latin phrase that means “mischief” or “wrongdoing”. The word is pronounced “MAL-e-feek-i-um”.

Desjardins will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a handcrafted medallion that incorporates the Sunburst logo.

The jurors for the 2013 award are: Rebecca Bradley, Tony Burgess, Shari Lapeña, Barbara Roden and Leon Rooke. Here’s what they said about Maleficium: “Gorgeous and multilayered, Maleficium is a complex, devious, and vivid novel, in which all the senses, and most of the deadly sins, are invoked to exquisite and diabolical effect. Situated where Maria Monk meets the Arabian Nights, it weaves together elements at a thousand knots per square inch, its darkness of frame and intricacy of structure combining to subvert the pattern by the final chapter.”

Maleficium is Desjardins’s fourth novel. It also won the Prix Jacques Brossard and was finalist for the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award (French Fiction), as well as for Prix des libraires du Québec, Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie, and Prix France–Québec.

For additional information about the Sunburst Award, nominees, and jurors, as well as previous awards, eligibility, and the selection process, visit the website at

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