Black Lawrence Press
July 1, 2015

2015 Big Moose Prize Winner Announced!

We’re so, so thrilled to announce that Megan McNamer has won the 2015 Big Moose Prize for her incredible novel Children and Lunatics. A resounding, sincere thanks to everyone who submitted, and to the finalists and semi-finalists; the caliber of entries this year was stunning, and selecting just one winning manuscript is a very difficult job. (But a job we adore.)

Here’s an excerpt from Children and Lunatics: 

The little dog barked frantically, running in circles. She took a step into the dim foyer and the dog neatly nipped her ankle then flipped over nearly backward in a rebound of nerves and fury. She stood perfectly still as the gyrating creature barked and ran its circles and performed its near flips. Suddenly it stopped on a dime and marched stiffly, toenails clicking, over to the end of the tiled hallway where it flopped its hindquarters and little belly down on the smooth floor.

Silence. She waited, next to the door. No other sounds came from the house, only the refrigerator in the kitchen whirring into cooling mode, a rustle of ice from the ice maker. She moved her hand from her side a few inches into the air, slowly, experimentally. The dog sat up straight, panting, its wet eyes small dots of perplexed emotion.

To her right was the thick green carpet of the living room, like a meadow floor. She pushed the door back into place and moved slowly into the house. She stepped onto the carpet. The dog lay its chin on the hall tiles and watched her and quivered. She took two more steps, until she was just outside the dog’s sight. She stopped and listened. The dog’s breathing came in jerky pants. It was listening, too. She inched toward a high- backed chair upholstered in a mauve and green scene of horses, hunters and hounds. Sinking down, she held her own breath. She relaxed into the chair, enfolded in its arms.

A clock on the mantel emitted a small grinding noise and then chimed the half- hour.  She looked out the window at a weeping birch’s slow sashay, a few of its leaves fluttering free, and she looked at the sunlight and shadows on the carpet, moving in patterns like clouds or smoke.

A sliver packet of matches nestled in a small clear dish next to a white-wicked candle. Eddy used to call them people. Blackened matches were bodies, fallen heroes, their lingering ghosts short-lived. Burning matches were kings and soldiers, their heads aflame with gold.  Army aw-loo, said Eddy, flinging the matches.

Magazines on the table were arranged in a fan. Time, Self, Get Simple, U.S. News and World Report.   National Geographic,  The New Millennium —  A Special Issue. Whatever You Thought, the cover said, Think Again. The fire was the battle and it always grew.

 

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