Guelph-Humber’s Michael Winter on Trillium Short List


An instructor with the University of Guelph-Humber’s MFA program in creative writing has been short-listed for this year’s Trillium Book Award, the Ontario government’s prestigious award for literature.

Michael Winter was selected for his book Death of Donna Whalen. The book is a documentary fiction based on Donna Whalen, a woman from St. John’s, Nfld., who was stabbed 31 times. Everyone believed it was her abusive boyfriend, Sheldon Troke, but the evidence was all circumstantial, providing a daunting challenge for police and prosecutors.

In this book, Winter pieces together the transcripts and court testimonies of Sheldon’s trial; the course of justice takes many twists and turns before the truth is finally revealed. Winter preserves the nuanced voice of each witness, and the result is a harsh account of the tragedy that befell Donna Whalen and the aftermath that tore her town apart.
Winter is also the author of The Architects Are Here, which was long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and The Big Why, which was short-listed for the Trillium Book Award and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His first novel, This All Happened, won the Winterset Award. Winter is also the recipient of The Writers’ Trust Notable Author Award.

The Trillium Book Award winners will be announced June 17 by Michael Chan, minister of tourism and culture, at a luncheon in Toronto.

Click here for more information on the awards.