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On Thursday, September 26, 2002, at the Canwest Global Performing Arts Theatre as part of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, author Margaret Sweatman was awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and a "sunburst" medal. Leon Rooke presented the award at the awards ceremony, which was attended by all the shortlisted writers. The jurors for the 2002 Sunburst Award were Douglas Barbour, Nalo Hopkinson, Tanya Huff, Hazel Hutchins and Don Hutchison. From the book jacket: "Alice falls in love with Peter in Orkney in the 1860s and pursues him to the New World. They join the rebellion against the Canadian acquisition of Manitoba and fight on the side of the charismatic Métis leader Louis Riel. While not Métis themselves, they prefer the company of revels and outcasts to the men who are invading from the east. Alice participates in the political execution of Thomas Scott, an odious Orangeman who is determined to destroy Riel and crush his followers. Thereafter, she is haunted by Scott's ghost.... "When Alice Lay Down with Peter is an epic comedy, an erotic, witty and innovative historical novel, as rich and varied as the landscape it so lovingly evokes. It follows the adventures of acerbic Blondie McCormack through 100 years of the history of the prairie province of Manitoba..."
From her website: "Margaret Sweatman began her novel When Alice Lay Down with Peter in St. Norbert, Manitoba, where her studio overlooked the Red River. During the writing, her house flooded twice and was eventually lost to the river. "Everything about the book is located there," she says, "in a much-loved place." A playwright and lyricist, she is the author of two previous novels, Sam and Angie and Fox; the latter won both the McNally Robinson Prize for the Manitoba Book of the Year and the inaugural John Hirsch Award for the most promising Manitoba writer. Margaret Sweatman lives in Winnipeg."