Article originally published in the London Free Press (in edited form):
London author Emma Donoghue says the childish narration in her acclaimed novel Room is deliberate.
Room is one of this year’s most talked-about Canadian books, nominated for several prestigious international and national prizes. The story is told from the perspective of five-year-old Jack, who’s held captive with his mother in a single room.
“Just as Jack is locked in a room, they (the reader) are locked in a five-year-old,” Donoghue said after a dramatic reading from her book Monday at the University of Western Ontario.
The event was held on the eve of Tuesday’s announcement of the winners for the Governor General’s Literary Awards, with Donoghue in the running for the English language fiction category.
The award carries a $25,000 prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Donoghue said she’s trying not to get her hopes up.
“Being shortlisted for awards does have ups and downs. Psychologically, it is quite hard,” she said. “If you can just manage to persuade yourself you’re not going to win, then the whole thing is highly enjoyable.”
Donoghue’s Room was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, one of the world’s most coveted literary awards, but lost to British author Howard Jacobson last month.
This month, Donoghue bounced back, snagging $25,000 for the Writer’s Trust Award in Toronto.
Through it all, Donoghue said that the support she has received from Londoners has been "a treasure."
"Oh, I've been feeling the love," she said.