John Bemrose is not a prolific novelist: The Island Walkers, a best-seller in his native Canada, was followed by a second novel, the Last Woman, in 2009 but, since then, nothing.

Bemrose, who was born in 1947, doesn’t devote himself - or his carefully-chosen words - to a single craft but to a range: he is a respected arts journalist, a teacher of ‘Creative Expression and Society’, and has written a play, Mother Moon, two volumes of poetry, and several radio programmes. The Island Walkers was inspired by his hometown Toronto and relates the lives, during the course of a year, of the blue-collar Walker family. Bemrose is not much of a talker about his work, but both reviewers and the prize judges were struck by his ability to conjure the texture of place.

John Bemrose

All nominated books

The Island Walkers