As a fourth-generation resident of Kelowna, teaching at Okanagan College, Alix Hawley first explored attractions and distractions in her "dark and sharp"; fiction collection, The Old Familiar (Thistledown 2008). In "Romance,"; a young man employed for the summer by a wealthy family, discovers he and his first-time lover have different sexual motivations. In "They Call Her Lovely Rita,"; a man feels he has absentmindedly misplaced his wife somewhere, and goes searching for her. In "Chemical Wedding,"; a gorgeous woman manoeuvres the murky waters of a dinner party with a former friend's family.

In 2014, Hawley won the 2014 Canada Writes Bloodlines competition, judged by Lawrence Hill, and was runner-up for the CBC Literary Award for short stories in 2012 and 2014. These distinctions dovetailed with the release of her first novel, All True Not A Lie In It (Penguin 2015), a funny and poignant historical novel set during the American Revolutionary War, told in the voice of Daniel Boone, as a "white Indian." After being raised in a Quaker colony in Pennsylvania, Boone is twice captured by Indians in Kentucky, gaining an intimate appreciation of the Shawnee.

All True Not a Lie In It won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 2016 and the First Novel Award. It was also longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. [See Review below]

In 2017, Alix Hawley won the $6,000 CBC Short Story Prize for her story, Witching. Hawley was runner-up in this contest for short stories in 2012 and 2014. Selected from more than 1800 works, the story was published in the May edition of Air Canada enRoute magazine and Hawley received a 10-day writing residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The contest is coordinated by CBC Books, the CBC's "online home" for literary content. The Canada Council for the Arts provides the prize money. The jury was composed of writers Jen Sookfong Lee, Shyam Selvadurai and Marina Endicott. Their judges' statement read:

"Witching is charged with tender dread-the calamity of a damaged soldier's return from Afghanistan. Vivid images of war and the formless desert draw us in and, along with his wife, we incrementally learn the geography of his altered nature. This story springs from his parched silence, but rings and resonates with his wife's silenced and impossible rage. The language is elegant and understated and draws the reader deeply into this world."

Alix Hawley studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Oxford University (where she wrote her doctoral thesis on Virginia Woolf), the University of East Anglia, and the University of British Columbia. She is especially interested in nineteenth-century writing and children's literature.


The Old Familiar (Thistledown 2008) $17.95 978-1-897235-49-2

All True Not A Lie In It (Knopf 2015). $29.95

My Name is a Knife (Penguin 2018) $26 978-0-7352-7329-0

[BCBW 2019] "Fiction"