Things are going great for previous Torontoist interview subject Howard Akler. His debut novel the City Man has been getting rave reviews and was recently nominated in the first-time authors category for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize (Caribbean and Canada Region). Akler joins a list which includes long-time poet and writer, but first-time novelist George Elliot Clarke and Calgary author Jacqueline Honnet. The winner of the regional prize goes on to compete against other fine books from the Commonwealth.
Unlike the Mercury Prize (awarded for best UK artist and supposedly cursed) the Commonwealth isn’t the kiss of death for an artist, other previous “first-time novelist” winners have included Ann-Marie Macdonald and Zadie Smith.