Itani and Viswanathan on Giller Shortlist

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Please join WCA in celebrating the appearance of Frances Itani’s novel TELL and Padma Viswanathan’s novel THE EVER AFTER OF ASHWIN RAO on the 2014 shortlist for the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize!

Jury Citation for Frances Itani / TELL:

Every word feels simple, right, and natural in Frances Itani’s Tell. You’re slowly immersed in the mystery: Who gave up a baby for adoption, and why? Itani peels back time to show us Kenan, a damaged and disfigured WWI soldier readjusting to life in Ontario, and his marriage to Tress. Itani inhabits many voices with ease, pathos and humour. Her choice of details expertly builds our understanding of her characters’ times, foibles and moral choices, and she connects them in a hugely satisfying ending. Tell is a treasure: serious with humorous moments, potent and controlled, subtle yet deeply moving.

Jury Citation for Padma Viswanathan / THE EVER AFTER OF ASHWIN RAO:

Scotch-drinking, McGill-educated psychologist Ashwin Rao wrote about those bereaved by India’s state-sponsored anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984. In 2004, he returns to Canada researching another book on comparative grief, attending the trial over the 1985 bombing of Air India 182, a bombing that claimed 329 lives, including his sister and her children. Guided by Viswanathan’s ever-compassionate gaze, and her ability to render a polyglot world in English, Ashwin meets Canadians affected by the tragedy, some as complex as himself. This often droll, fiercely-intelligent novel with its cat’s-cradle of a plot challenges the twin deadly lures of religious fundamentalism and racism, revealing the learning and unlearning at the core of the immigrant experience.

Itani and Viswanathan Longlisted for Giller!

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Please join WCA in congratulating Frances Itani and Padma Viswanathan on being longlisted for the $100,000 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize!

Commonwealth Award winner Frances Itani is longlisted for her stunning new novel Tell (HarperCollins Canada, Grove US). A deeply moving and emotionally rich story about secrets withheld and revealed in the aftermath of the Great War, the novel is a companion to Itani’s unforgettable debut Deafening in that it picks up on the lives of two minor characters (Grania’s sister Tress and her husband Kenan), but it stands triumphantly on its own. Comparing her to the late Alistair MacLeod, the Toronto Star hails the novel as “masterful… evocative and indelible… an enthralling reminder of the toll the war – and all wars – take, not only on the soldiers but on the families who keep faith on the home front.” The Winnipeg Free Press, meanwhile, puts it more simply, stating that in Tell, “[Itani] illustrates that good storytelling is not dead.” Deafening, which has been published in 17 territories, was compared by reviewers to Birdsong and the Regeneration trilogy, and by writer Kaye Gibbons to the work of Grace Paley, Robert Lowell and W.H. Auden.

Internationally acclaimed New Face of Fiction author Padma Viswanathan has been longlisted for her latest bestselling novel The Ever After of Ashwin Rao, about the 1985 Air India bombing and the unexpected reverberations of this tragedy in the lives of its survivors. David Bezmozgis, author of The Betrayers calls it “An intrepid novel, its sadness leavened by a wry humour,”and Manil Suri, author of The Death of Vishnu raves “Through characters hewn with great empathy and grace, writing whose brilliance illuminates every page, and a story that constantly compels and surprises, Padma Viswanathan explores hugely ambitious questions of loss, identity and faith.” Her first novel The Toss of a Lemon was published to critical acclaim in Canada, Australia, Holland, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the US, and was shortlisted for the First Novel Award, and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book Award (Canada and the Caribbean).

Eric Hill

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WCA was devastated yesterday by the news that its beloved client Eric Hill had succumbed to his recent illness.  Eric’s iconic character Spot launched the groundbreaking lift-the-flap book format back in 1980, and went on to delight children in more than 60 languages. Eric was a very special man and he will be greatly missed.  Please share a Spot book with a child to keep his memory alive. -86

Susin Nielsen wins Red Maple Award

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Congratulations to Susin Nielsen, who has just won the Red Maple Award for The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen (Tundra Books). She previously won the award in 2010 for Word Nerd.

The Ontario Library Association’s annual Red Maple Award was first presented in 1998. This award is open to Canadian authors writing at the Grade 7-8 level, who have been published within the last two years. The winner is selected by Ontario’s young readers.

Paul Wells wins the John W. Dafoe Prize

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WCA is pleased to announce that The Longer I’m Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada 2006– by Paul Wells has won the John W. Dafoe Prize.

The J.W. Dafoe Book Prize is awarded to the best book on Canada, Canadians, and/or Canada’s place in the world published in the previous calendar year.

The Longer I’m Prime Minister is a national bestseller, a Maclean’s Best Book, and winner of the Writers’ Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

The Jury citation follows:

“Paul Wells provides a lively, witty and perceptive insider, political portrait of Stephen Harper as a calculating, incremental politician, who set out to fundamentally change how Canadians see themselves and their place in the world. In his balanced analysis, Paul Wells has enhanced our understanding of a relatively new kind of Canadian conservatism that fiercely brands its opponents and operates in a permanent electoral mode.”

Congratulations Paul!

Paul Wells's The Longer I'm Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada was also the 2014 winner of the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize.

Wells wins Shaughnessy Cohen Prize

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Congratulations to WCA author Paul Wells, who has won this year’s $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for The Longer I’m Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006- (Random House Canada).

The Writers’ Trust of Canada handed out the honour at a gala in Ottawa on the 2nd of April.

The jury praised his book as “Impeccably researched, gorgeously written and deeply insightful…an essential read for all political junkies.”

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Jury Citation

Veteran political columnist Paul Wells has crafted a fast-paced, romping great read about a Prime Minister who is frequently described by the Parliamentary Press Gallery as dull, plodding, and inscrutable. Though viscerally funny and often biting, this book is never partisan or unfair. Impeccably researched, gorgeously written, and deeply insightful, The Longer I’m Prime Minister is an essential read for all political junkies.

Thomas King Wins 2014 RBC Taylor Prize!

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At a ceremony today in downtown Toronto, WCA author Thomas King was named the winner of The 2014 RBC Taylor Prize for his book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, published by Doubleday Canada.

Awarded annually in celebration of Canadian non-fiction, the prize celebrates a book that “best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception.”

The jury citation follows:

“Histories of North America’s Native Peoples abound, but few are as subversive, entertaining, well-researched, hilarious, enraging, and finally as hopeful as this very personal take on our long relationship with the “inconvenient” Indian. King dissects idealized myths (noble Hiawatha, servile Tonto, the Sixties nature guru) against the tragic backdrop of real Indians abused in mission schools, penned together on reserves, and bludgeoned by vicious or ham-fisted government policies. A sharp, informed eye is cast on Riel, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull, on the dark and tangled stories of Native land claims, on Alcatraz, Will Rogers (a Cherokee), and the maid on Land o’ Lakes butter; on Batoche, on Wounded Knee. In this thoughtful, irascible account, and in characteristically tricksterish mode, King presents a provocative alternative version of Canada’s heritage narrative.”

Last month, The Inconvenient Indian won the $40,000 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

Please join us in celebrating this very special book and author.

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Thomas King is represented by Jackie Kaiser.

Hamilton shortlisted for Lambda Literary Award

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The finalists were announced for the 26th annual Lambda Literary Awards, which honours LGBT books published in 2013, and WCA is happy to report that Ian Hamilton’s The Wild Beasts of Wuhan: An Ava Lee Novel was on the list. The winners will be announced in New York on June 2.
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