HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA — Cape Breton novelist Oisín Curran, who hails originally from Surry, and his writer wife, Sarah Faber, both are in the running for the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia’s 2018 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. The award carries a monetary prize of $25,000.
The Cape Breton Island couple, who live with their two children, ages 5 and 7, in the town of South West Margaree, both published books at the same time last fall. They were nominated for the same award last week.
Curran’s “Blood Fable” (BookThug, 2017) is about New Pond, a utopian Buddhist community in coastal Maine on the verge of collapse.
“The community’s charismatic leader demands complete adherence to his authority, and slowly, his followers come to the realization that they’ve been exploited for too long,” according to Goodreads. “The 11-year-old son of one of those adherents is dimly aware of the concerns of the adult world. Yet his imagination provides a refuge both from the difficulties of his parents’ lives and from the boredom and casual brutality of school.”
Faber’s “All is Beauty Now” (Little Brown, 2017) is about an Anglo-Brazilian family living in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1960s. The family’s eldest daughter, Luiza, wades into the ocean and never emerges.
Curran is the son of Hugh and Susan Curran of Surry. He is a 1989 George Stevens Academy graduate. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in classics and a master’s degree in creative writing from Brown University. His debut novel was “Mopus” in 2008.
“Obviously I would be happy to get the prize, but I would be happy for him if it went that way,” Faber said in the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia’s press release.
“Yeah, likewise,” said Curran, adding that he feels Faber deserves the award. “I mean, I know that sounds kinda sappy, but she does because she worked so hard on the book. It’d be really cool if she wins.”
Faber and Curran take shifts writing while the other looks after the children and household chores.
“It took us a long time to write those books because we have two little kids and you have to work and survive,” Faber said.
“Day to day and week by week we’re kinda recalibrating how we’re going to carve out the time to do what we need to do,” Curran said.