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2007 Sunburst Award Winner

Photo by Peter Halasz of Mark Frutkin with his Sunburst Award, Fall 2007
Toronto, September 27, 2007: The Sunburst Award Committee is pleased to announce that the winner of its 2007 award is Fabrizio's Return by Mark Frutkin (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, ISBN 0-676-97727-8).

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a prized and juried award presented annually. It is based on excellence of writing and awarded to a Canadian writer who has published a speculative fiction novel or book-length collection any time during the previous calendar year. Named after the novel by Phyllis Gotlieb, one of the first published authors of contemporary Canadian speculative fiction, the award consists of a cash prize of $1,000 and a handcrafted medallion which incorporates a "Sunburst" logo, designed by Marcel Gagné.

The Sunburst jury said: "Fabrizio's Return is a complex drama of faith, love, church politics, and art, set in 17th- and 18th-century Cremona. The story explores the events surrounding the mission of a 'devil's advocate' sent by the church to investigate the life of a local 'saint.' Frutkin's narrative is probing in its exploration of ordinary human nature. Rich in humour, a sense of irony, and celebrating the power of passion, this novel blends fantasy, realism and historical authenticity to create a unique and engaging work of art."

The jurors for the 2007 award were Steven Erikson, James Alan Gardner, Tom Henighan, Emily Pohl-Weary and Caitlin Sweet. They selected five shortlisted works as representing the finest of Canadian fantastic literature published during the 2006 calendar year.

The other shortlisted works were:

  • Martine Leavitt, Keturah and Lord Death;
  • Carrie Mac, The Droughtlanders;
  • Peter Watts, Blindsight; and
  • Robert Wiersema, Before I Wake.


Mark Frutkin is the author of three books of poetry and six of fiction, including Atmosphere Apollinaire, which was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Trillium and the Ottawa Book Award. He lives in Ottawa.

The 2008 award jurors will be Timothy Anderson, Kelley Armstrong, Barbara Haworth-Attard, Dena Taylor and Robert Wiersema. In 2008, there will be two awards: for adult and for young-adult (YA) fiction.