Prince County resident Steven Mayoff has won the 2010 PEI Book Award for his collection of short stories, Fatted Calf Blues. The award recognizes excellence in a work of fiction by an Island writer and is presented every two years.
Mayoff was congratulated by Culture Minister Robert Vessey at a ceremony held
Nov 24 at the Confederation Centre Public Library. The award includes a cash prize and a commemorative tray created by an Island artist.
“Having made PEI my home for the past nine years, it is a great honour to be recognized by the Island community,” Mayoff said.
The stories in Fatted Calf Blues have been garnered praise from a number of celebrated Canadian writers.
Anne Simpson says: “Mayoff shows us all that is familiar, and then tilts the world so it becomes surprising and strange. These are stories to relish - sink your teeth into this book.”
And Carol Bruneau notes: “Mayoff’s ear for dialogue and eye for quirky detail make Fatted Calf Blues a startling debut.”
Themes of family, loss and transformation resonate through this collection. A woman and her grandson on a cottage porch in rural PEI, a deranged passenger on a crowded streetcar in downtown Toronto, a man trapped in his own recurring dream: all of these characters struggle in an imperfect world toward their own personal imaginings of an ideal life.
Earlier this year, Fatted Calf Blues was shortlisted for the ReLit Award, which recognizes books published by small presses.
Fatted Calf Blues is published by Turnstone Press and is available through any bookstore or online.
Steven Mayoff has had short stories and poetry published in literary magazines in Canada and abroad including The Windsor ReView, Grain, Malahat Review, Dalhousie Review and The Dublin Quarterly.
He is a past winner of the David Adams Richards Prize from the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick and has had three radio dramas produced by CBC. A native of Montreal, Mayoff has called Foxley River, PEI home since 2001.