'February’ by Lisa Moore wins CBC Reads battle of the books

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"February" by Lisa Moore

The Canadian Press — Toronto

“February” by Lisa Moore, a story based on the Ocean Ranger oil rig disaster off the coast of Newfoundland on Feb. 15, 1982, has won CBC’s Canada Reads contest.

This year, the annual battle of the books competition divided the country into five regions — British Columbia and Yukon, the Prairies and the North, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces — and had Canadians vote to pick titles that represented their local culture.

Five panellists selected a book to champion from the most popular titles and debated which should win the contest.

Comedian Trent McClellan fought for “February,” actor Jay Baruchel of Quebec supported runner-up “Two Solitudes” by Hugh MacLennan, Ontario author Charlotte Gray argued for “Away” by Jane Urquhart, Olympic wrestler Carol Huynh picked “Indian Horse” by Richard Wagamese for B.C. and Yukon, and Ron MacLean defended “The Age of Hope” by David Bergen for the Prairies and North.

“February,” about a woman whose husband was among the 84 victims of the Ocean Ranger sinking in 1982, outlasted the other books in the elimination-style contest.

A one-hour recap of the debates and competition will air Saturday on CBC-TV at 12 p.m. ET.

Organizations: CBC, Canadian Press

Geographic location: Yukon, Ontario, Quebec Toronto Newfoundland British Columbia

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  • Michelle
    February 14, 2013 - 15:58

    I loved her novel "Open", too. Great writing- well deserved award. I was a fan of hers way back when I read Hearts Larry Broke (short stories from burning rock). How fitting that the award be bestowed so close to the anniversary of the Ocean Ranger tragedy. I hope you sell millions of copies-Congratulations. For those of you who haven't yet read "February", get your hands on a copy NOW.

  • wavy
    February 14, 2013 - 14:49

    And a fine read it is, too. Her first book "Alligator" gets all the praise but for my money, I still say "February" is a better novel. It is packed full of raw, relatable emotion and visceral humanity. Great stuff.