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FitzGerald is a Toronto-based writer of creative nonfiction whose second book, What Disturbs Our Blood: A Son’s Quest to Redeem the Past, won the 2010 Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize. At Berton House during his October to December winter residency he wrote Dreaming Sally, “a true story of first love, sudden death, and ESP set in the summer of 1968.”

Award History

2010 Winner

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
for What Disturbs Our Blood: A Son's Quest to Redeem the Past

Jury Citation

“James FitzGerald’s What Disturbs Our Blood is a brave and compelling journey into the world of mental illness, and a riveting look at the father-son divides in a family of talented over-achievers. While plumbing the depths of one family’s tragedy, FitzGerald manages to tie in important Canadian medical discoveries, two World Wars, and the history of Ireland in an ambitious, yet riveting narrative. In heartfelt, lively, and meticulously researched prose, he links the personal to the political. Following the lead of Sigmund Freud, he dares to stare unblinkingly into the sun and honestly examine the troubled father-son relationships that have plagued his family line. In the end, his ghosts bid him farewell and leave him free to walk his own path.” -- 2010 Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize Jury (Hadani Ditmars, Sid Marty, and Michael Mitchell)

Program History

Writer in Residence

Berton House Writers’ Residency