Quebec writer Stéphane Larue has won the Amazon First Novel Award for The Dishwasher.
The Dishwasher, which was originally published in French in 2016, was translated by Pablo Strauss.
The $60,000 prize, established in 1976, honours the best first novel in English published the previous year by a citizen or resident of Canada.
Larue had the least glamorous job at a restaurant — a dishwasher. But it gave him an inside look at the hard-living characters working in frenetic, stress-filled kitchens. He turned those experiences into The Dishwasher, which takes the reader into the demi-monde of restaurant kitchens.
The French version of the book, Le Plongeur, won the Prix des libraires du Québec and the Prix Senghor and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for French-language fiction.
The in-person awards ceremony was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The five remaining finalists each receive $6,000. They were:
This year’s jury was comprised of Liz Harmer, Shani Mootoo and Anakana Schofield.
The winner of the youth short story category is 17-year-old Cate Freeborn for her story 74 Percent of the Victims of Nonfamily Abductions are Girls.
She will receive $5,000 and an opportunity to workshop their writing with editors from the Walrus.
The juror for the youth short story category was Chelene Knight.
Other past winners include Michael Ondaatje, Joy Kogawa, W. P. Kinsella and André Alexis.