2016 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Finalist

2016 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist •	Sonja Larsen (Vancouver, BC) for Red Star Tattoo: My Life as a Girl Revolutionary, Random House Canada
Sonja Larsen
Red Star Tattoo: My Life as a Girl Revolutionary 
Random House Canada
 

2016 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist Sonja Larsen (Vancouver, BC) for Red Star Tattoo: My Life as a Girl Revolutionary, Random House Canada



"Sonja Larsen did not have the typical Canadian childhood, coming of age as she did in communes and cults, raised on the shoulder of hitchhiked roads and in the midst of would-be revolutions.  


In Red Star Tattoo, she captures the sad absurdity of her upbringing in a voice that’s both courageous and compelling. Her story of surviving neglect, abuse, brainwashing, and also her own longing to be part of something politically grand is told without an iota of bitterness or self-pity. In the end, Larsen offers a glimpse not only of forces that can seduce the young to embrace countercultures, but of those that shaped her own remarkable resilience."

- 2016 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction jury Carolyn Abraham, Stephen Kimber, and Emily Urquhart.

About the Book

Sonja Larsen's is a childhood in which family members come and go and where freedom is both a gift and a burden. Her mother, thrown out of home as a pregnant teenager by her evangelical preacher father, is drawn to the utopian ideals and radical politics of communism. As a teenager, Larsen embeds herself with an organization known privately as the Communist Party USA Provisional Wing. But even as she and her comrades count down the days on the calendar until the dawning of their new American revolution, Larsen's doubts about the cause become increasingly difficult to ignore. Red Star Tattoo explores the seductions and dangers of extremism, and asks what it takes to survive a childhood scarred by loss, abuse and the sometimes violent struggle for belonging.

About the Author

Sonja Larsen is a graduate of the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio. Her writing has been published in magazines, newspapers, and literary journals, including Room, Descant, Scissors and Spackle, THIS Magazine, and The Globe and Mail, and in the anthology Flash 101: Surviving the Fiction Apocalypse. Larsen lives in Vancouver where she works with youth in the Downtown Eastside.

 


  
 
 

Woodcock Fund
Applications

Ongoing


Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Second Deadline

September 13, 2017


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