Cary Fagan’s novel, The Student, is a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. The winner will be announced on October 29. The other finalists are Marianne Micros for Eye; Joan Thomas for Five Wives; K.D. Miller for Late Breaking; and Michael Crummey for The Innocents.
The Student offers two snapshots from the life of Miriam Moscowitz, first in the 1950s when she is an ambitious student at University College in Toronto, and then in the 2000s, as she attends her son’s wedding—a newly-legal same-sex marriage. Both these time periods were pivotal in steering Canada’s cultural development. But they were also very exclusionary. Cary Fagan’s novel celebrates the people who challenged the obstacles: the women who tried to break their way into the higher levels of academia; the activists who pushed for the marriage equality. The Student is a love letter to the people—like Fagan’s protagonist Miriam Moscowitz—who, in trying to overcome the constraints of their times, shaped the city.
Cary Fagan is the author of six novels and three story collections for adults, as well as many award-winning books for children. His books include A Bird’s Eye (finalist for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, an Amazon.ca Best Book of the Year) and the story collection My Life Among the Apes (longlisted for the Giller Prize, Amazon.ca Best 100 Books of 2013). Cary was born and raised in Toronto, where he lives with his family.