That old saying of not judging a book by its cover must've been joked about at least once at the Nova Scotia Masterworks judging table, which doled out its 2021 award earlier this week. The winning artwork—a handcrafted book—sports a quiet beauty immediately felt in its pebbled, plain cream cover. Inside, there's a short story by Alexander MacLeod about a man and his pet rabbit that has also won the prestigious O. Henry Prize (often considered the top prize for short fiction).
The limited run of 80 copies, printed by Gaspreau Press, were all hand-bound and printed by MacLeod's co-winner, Andrew Steeves. The work beat out three other finalists for the $25,000 purse, including a sculpture by John Greer, HEIST Live Art's The Princess Show play and Neil Forrest's installation Pøros.