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Cary Fagan has published books for adults and children. His most recent collection of short stories, My Life Among the Apes, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His first novel, The Animals’ Waltz, won the Canadian Jewish Book Award and his last novel, Valentine’s Fall, was a finalist for the Toronto Book Award. Fagan is co-publisher and editor for paperplates books, a small press focused on short fiction and personal essays. He lives in Toronto.


Cary Fagan on A Bird's Eye

Award History

Jury Citation

“Organic prose and authentic dialogue are defining features of Cary Fagan’s prolific body of work, which covers the range of children’s genres from picture books to novels. With a kid’s eye-view Fagan navigates the ups and downs of life with genuine warmth and a wry sense of humour. His stories perambulate a landscape of small adventures, creating moments of epiphany for his characters that ultimately alter and shift their lens on the world. Magic animates his narratives and its transformative power is Fagan’s instrument for constructing a child’s imaginative space, allowing the reader to find themselves in the story. Nuanced and understated in both semantics and voice, Fagan’s stories are a perfect balance between the comic and the dramatic. Artfully rendered narratives and exquisite syntax make each of his tales pearls of meaningful simplicity. Fagan is a master storyteller.”
— 2014 Vicky Metcalf Award Jury (Gwyneth Evans, Susan Perren, and Joanne Schwartz)

2013 Finalist

Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for A Bird’s Eye

Jury Citation

“Cary Fagan’s A Bird’s Eye is a delight, daring in its simplicity – a novel made more powerful by its virtuoso omissions. Fourteen-year-old magician Benjamin Kleeman narrates this poetic map of Toronto during the Depression, leading us through the bittersweet unravelling of his family and his own passions on and off stage until, from that world about to disappear, Benjamin himself vanishes. A Bird’s Eye isn’t just a book about magic; it is magic.” — 2013 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Caroline Adderson, Alison Pick, and Miguel Syjuco)

Works recognized by WT

Beyond the Dance: A Ballerina’s Life (with Chan Hon Goh)

Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas

The Market Wedding

Mr. Zinger’s Hat

Oy Feh So?

The Show to End All Shows