Russell Wangersky’s Burning Down the House, was the winner of the 2009 BC National Non-Fiction Prize, the Rogers Cable Non-fiction Prize (NL) and the Edna Staebler Award for Non-Fiction. It was also chosen as a Top 100 Books of 2008 by The Globe & Mail, and was shortlisted for the 2008 Writers Trust Award. Wangersky’s first short story collection, The Hour of Bad Decisions, was longlisted for the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. His second collection, Whirl Away, won the 2013 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the BMO Winterset Prize. He is also the author of one novel, The Glass Harmonica, and a profile of the political career of former Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams. His newest novel, Walt, was released in the fall of 2014 and won the CBC Bookie Award.
Russell Wangersky was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, where his father was a professor of oceanography at Dalhousie University and his mother, a marine biologist. He attended Acadia University, choosing philosophy over the family tradition of science, and edited the university’s literary magazine, Alpha. He also signed up, during those university years, to be a volunteer firefighter in Wolfville, NS, the inspiration for his award-winning memoir.
He has since worked as a researcher in the Queen’s Park bureau of Southam News, spent five years as a reporter at the Sunday Express and five years at CBC Television. He has been page editor of The Telegram in St. John’s, as well as a columnist and magazine writer. He lives in St. John’s with is family, and divides his days between the newspaper and his other writing.
“No one charts the geography of loneliness better than Russell Wangersky. Writing with clarity and precision, he reveals lives lived under a slow compression, of tension that demands release. At turns lyrical, wry, darkly comedic, but always heartfelt, Wangersky’s collection takes the short story to new heights of grace and skill.” — Will Ferguson, author of 419
“Russell Wangersky has mastered the short story. The pieces in this collection are tender, violent, humorous, sorrowful, and sexy — sometimes all at the same time. In its exploration of human betrayal and human connection, The Path of Most Resistance captures the raw physical energy that simmers just below the surface of everyday life. This collection is a true gift from one of Canada’s most talented writers of short fiction.” — Angie Abdou, author of Between
“Vivid images of ordinary working life are galvanized into beauty and power in these stories that turn on hard-fought, hard-won understanding. Russell Wangersky’s steady faith in human nature yields honest, bedrock prose veined with surprising gleams of love and pain.” – Marina Endicott, author of Close to Hugh
“Russell Wangersky affirms his position as one of the finest short-story writers currently working in this country . . . Wangersky has delivered a collection unified in its quality, but eclectic and surprising in the breadth of its styles, subjects, and techniques.” — Quill and Quire
|Walt (House of Anansi, 2014)
A dark new psychological thriller. French: Place des Editeurs; German: Droemer.
Winner of the CBC Bookie Award for Best Thriller.
|The Glass Harmonica (Thomas Allen, 2010)
After Keith O’Reilly witnesses the murder of his neighbour by a pizza delivery man one night during a snowstorm, a unique series of stories begins to unfold.
2010 BMO Winterset Award
| “Burning Down the House is such a raw book. In this haunting meditation on fate and chance, he literally takes you there.”-The Globe and Mail”
This is not the tabloid heroism of the breathless headlines. Wangersky handles these scenes with a terse candour, balancing an in-the-moment experiential quality with a keen eye for detail. Wangersky documents his steady spiral into post-traumatic stress disorder with a frankness that is at once brutal and emotionally devastating. The sad irony for Wangersky and his colleagues in the firehall is that such sacrifices make the heroism that much more significant.”-National Post