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2017 People's Choice Award

Book cover image for Vancouver 3 in the series Wisdom Tree by Nick Earls

Vancouver #3 in the series Wisdom Tree by Nick Earls (Inkerman & Blunt)

Judges' Comments

The third in Nick Earls' Wisdom Tree series, Vancouver is a collection of five loosely linked novellas. It explores the friendship between Paul, an Australian boy, and Knut from Minnesota. Knut, a very tall young quarterback with a bad shoulder, comes to Australia when Paul’s father decides to buy the Australasian rights to American football during drinks with a Texan at a bar in Brisbane. Part of that deal is Knut, who comes to live with Paul and his family. During this time Knut and Paul develop an unlikely but lasting friendship. Eventually Knut goes back to the states, but the two are reunited 28 years later when Paul, now a writer, comes to Vancouver for a writers’ festival.

This tale is deceptively simple. With beautiful prose, the narrative takes us deep into the territory of the imagination, aspirations and childhood loss. Vancouver is an elegant work, surprising and tenderly told.