|Kasia Van Schaik is one of twelve authors longlisted for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize for her debut collection of short stories, We Have Never Lived On Earth.
“This is the first time that one of our authors has been longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. We knew that Kasia’s book was spectacular, and we are proud to have published her work, We Have Never Lived On Earth, in our Robert Kroetsch Series,” said UAlberta Press Director Douglas Hildebrand.
As Kasia Van Schaik writes in her coming-of-age climate-anxious collection, “In the world we’re creating together, no animals exist, no seasons either. We live eight stories up and never touch soil. We follow highways not rivers. We name our heat waves after our grandmothers. We have never lived on earth.”
“I don’t mean this book to be prophetic,” Van Schaik acknowledges, “but recent events, such as the BC forest fires, are veering dangerously close to the story world. I wish I had the power to halt their progression by capturing them in fiction.”
About Kasia Van Schaik
Kasia Van Schaik is a South African-Canadian writer, teacher, and literary critic living in Montreal/Tiohtià:ke. She teaches Creative Writing at McGill University.
We Have Never Lived on Earth, a linked story collection that explores what it means to come of age in the era of environmental collapse, is her first book of fiction. It was shortlisted for the Concordia University First Book Prize.
Kasia received the Mona Adilman Prize for poetry related to ecological concerns, the Peterson Memorial Fiction Prize, and the Quebec Federation’s Short Story Prize.
She is the author of the poetry chapbook Sea Burial Laws According to Country. Her writing has appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry Anthology, Electric Literature, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, PRISM International and more.
About We Have Never Lived On Earth
Kasia Van Schaik’s debut story collection follows the journey of Charlotte Ferrier, a child of divorce raised by a single mother in a small town in British Columbia after moving from South Africa. Mother and daughter wait out the end of a bad year in a Mexican hotel; a friendship is tested as forest fires demolish Charlotte’s town; a childhood friend disappears while travelling through Europe; and a girl on the beach examines the memories of dying jellyfish. The stories traverse the most intimate and transforming moments of female experience in a world threatened by ecological crisis.
The longlist was announced on September 6. The shortlist will be announced at October 11 and the winner on November 13. This year’s jury includes award-winning authors Sharon Bala, Brian Thomas Isaac, Rebecca Makkai, Neel Mukherjee, and Ian Williams (jury chair).