2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (Caribbean & Canada Region)
2002 City of Calgary W. O. Mitchel Book Award
2001 Canongate Prize for short fiction
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The Scent of a Lie is a book of fourteen inter-connected stories set in two charismatic towns in Portugal where characters weave in and out of the narrative. The book can be read as a novel in fragments. This is a remarkable debut collection of tales told by a true storyteller. The Scent of a Lie received the 2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in the Caribbean & Canada region and the 2002 City of Calgary Book Award. One of the stories received the 2001 Canongate Prize for short fiction at the International Book Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Scent Of A Lie, (…) marks the debut of a remarkable writer. - John Terauds, Toronto Star
With this book of linked stories, Paulo Da Costa adds piquant new spice to the CanLit broth. Paying homage to a fabulist tradition running from Marquez and Borges and Carlos Fuentes all the way back to Cervantes,
Da Costa evokes his God-beset, earthbound peasants, priests and villagers with palpable, redolent precision. Jim Bartley, The Globe and Mail
The reader can see just how well da Costa writes: the language here is lyrical and flowing, and the imaginativeness of the stories speaks for itself. Da Costa is clearly a writer to watch. Tim McNamara, Edmonton Journal
The most uniformly fresh, sprightly, meaty work of Canadian fiction I’ve read in a long time. Vue weekly, Print Culture - Christopher Wiebe