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Malahat Review’s Novella Prize Winner

The latest issue of The Malahat Review features the winner of the Novella Prize, Dora Dueck with “Mask.” Here’s a snippet from the beginning:

     I was fourteen before I saw my father’s face. The ruins, I mean, the face behind the mask. Holes instead of a cheekbone to cheekbone, though the tip had been spared and stood there by itself, pale and hideous, as if too stubborn or stupid to quit when abandoned. Nostrils like tiny arches. And where his right eye should have been, he had a crater too.
     I’d needed pins for my hair. I’d hurried into Mum’s room, hurried out again, and his door had slipped ajar. The morning sun, which he got through his east-facing window, was escaping in a strong white shaft like a barrier thrown up in the dim grey corridor. He was framed by it, and he was humming. For the one you love so well, Dolly Gray, in the midst of battle fell, Dolly Gray
     It must have been the humming that confused me. That made me stop. Dad didn’t hum or sing; this was Mum’s department. She sang while preparing our breakfast and supper, and it was usually a hymn she warbled through until she had the biscuits in a pan, the eggs boiled, the cabbage or asparagus steamed. But sometimes she sang “Goodbye, Dolly Gray,” her favourite song from the days of the War, because her name was Dolly…

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