Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Finalist

The Purchase

Linda Spalding

The Purchase
McClelland & Stewart


Linda Spalding

Jury Citation

"With meticulous yet seamless attention to historical detail, Linda Spalding transports the reader to 18th century Virginia in her mesmerizing novel, The Purchase. Cast from his close-knit Pennsylvanian community, devout Quaker Daniel Dickinson travels west to strike a Faustian bargain—to live among slave-owners in exchange for a prosperous new life for his young family. New to farming and blindsided by the brutal and all-encompassing economics of slavery, the hapless yet stubborn Daniel nonetheless does begin to prosper—at the expense of not just his own soul but those of his tragically compromised children. The Purchase is an epic novel in every way that matters—in scope, depth and heart."

About the Book

In 1798, a young Quaker family sets out from their home in Pennsylvania with just two horses, a wagonful of belongings, and a few land warrants for a future homestead. On the way, Daniel Dickinson, a widower and father of five with a 15-year-old orphan wife, ignores his own moral code and decides to trade a horse for a young slave named Onesimus. The deal endlessly haunts Daniel’s conscience, triggering a domino effect across multiple generations. Inspired by stories of the author's own ancestors, this hard-edged depiction of the realities of pioneer life is both intimate in nature and huge in scope.

About the Author

Linda Spalding lives in Toronto and sits on the editorial board of Brick magazine with her daughter Esta Spalding and her husband Michael Ondaatje. Her 1998 nonfiction title, The Follow, was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award and the Pearson Writers' Trust Nonfiction Prize.

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Author | Book




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


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