Category Archives: Prizes

Canada Reads 2013

This year’s “Canada Reads” on CBC seems strange to me, with its mix of old and new books, which are supposed to represent five regions of Canada — but I must admit I always find “Canada Reads” entertaining. Today Jane Urquhart’s novel Away (which I liked a lot) was eliminated, and yesterday David Bergen’s The Age of Hope was eliminated, so there are three books left:

  • February (2009), by Lisa Moore (Atlantic region — defended by comedian Trent McClellan)
  • Indian Horse (2012), by Richard Wagamese (British Columbia and Yukon — defended by athlete Carol Huynh)
  • Two Solitudes (1945) by Hugh MacLennan (Quebec — defended by actor Jay Baruchel)

Speaking of Jay Baruchel, I recently re-watched Jacob Tierney’s movie “The Trotsky” (set in Montreal and starring Jay Baruchel), which I I highly recommend! The DVD is available at Media Commons.

Sarah Polley wins award for best Canadian film of 2012

What great news that Sarah Polley’s wonderful documentary Stories We Tell has won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s $100,000 prize for the best Canadian film of 2012! At University College we are very lucky to have Sarah Polley as this year’s Barker Fairley Distinguished Visitor.

For some interesting quotes about Stories We Tell and Sarah Polley’s other feature films, see the following links to my Canadian Women Film Directors Database:

Will Ferguson wins Giller Prize

Will Ferguson won the Giller Prize tonight (in a kilt!) for his novel 419. As of this writing, all three copies owned by U of T libraries are sitting on the shelf (at the University College Library, Robarts, and U of T Mississauga) — probably not for long!  (By contrast, all 53 Toronto Public Library copies are out on loan, with hundreds of holds.)
book cover: 419 by Will Ferguson



About the novel: “419 takes readers behind the scene of the world’s most insidious internet scam. When Laura’s father gets caught up in one such swindle and pays with his life, she is forced to leave the comfort of North America to make a journey deep into the dangerous back streets and alleyways of the Lagos underworld to confront her father’s killer. […]”  (from the publisher’s website)

Nation maker

Richard Gwyn has won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, for Nation Maker, the second volume of his biography of Sir John A. MacDonald.

John A.: The man who made us

Something fierce

Carmen Aguirre is the winner of this year’s CBC Canada Reads for Something fierce : memoirs of a revolutionary daughter (which we have at Laidlaw Library).

In case you missed all the controversy this week, here are a few interesting articles:

Canada Reads 2012 finalists

Here are the finalists for Canada Reads 2012: True Stories.  The five books will be debated on CBC radio in February by their “celebrity defenders,”  and are all available at Laidlaw Library:

Half-Blood Blues

Edi Edugyan has won the Giller Prize for Half-Blood Blues! Here’s what the Giller jury said:

“Imagine Mozart were a black German trumpet player and Salieri a bassist, and 18th century Vienna were WWII Paris; that’s Esi Edugyan’s joyful lament, Half-Blood Blues. It’s conventional to liken the prose in novels about jazz to the music itself, as though there could be no higher praise. In this case, say rather that any jazz musician would be happy to play the way Edugyan writes. Her style is deceptively conversational and easy, but with the simultaneous exuberance and discipline of a true prodigy. Put this book next to Louis Armstrong’s ‘West End Blues’ – these two works of art belong together.”