Friday, April 16, 2010

Book Awards Roundup

This has been a big week for book award announcements. Of particular interest us here at The Halifax Reader are the Atlantic Book Awards. Wednesday night, to a packed audience at Alderney Landing, we celebrated the year's best Atlantic Canadian writing. The big winners were Shandi Mitchell and Linden MacIntyre.

Shandi Mitchell's first novel Under This Unbroken Sky won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award and the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize.

MacIntyre's The Bishop's Man won the Atlantic Independent Bookseller's Choice Award and the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (and, ahem, the Giller Prize).

Mitchell's Under this Unbroken Sky - "In the spring of 1938, Theo Mykolayenko returns to his family after a year spent in prison for the crime of trying to feed them. A survivor of war and Stalin's crimes in the Ukraine, Theo refuses to be defeated. With desperate resolve he takes to the land and, as the crops grow, his family heals and strengthens. But the return of his brother-in-law threatens to take away everything they have built." - catalogue.

Library Journal says, "Tragic in Shakespearean proportions, Mitchell's stark portrayal resembles Grapes of Wrath in its brutal description of immigrants' suffering and will to survive. This book will have immediate appeal to readers searching for superb historical fiction filled with tension, unforgettable characters, and a dramatic setting. VERDICT Enthusiastically recommended."

Other Atlantic Book Awards winners included:

And also in book-related news this week were the prestigious Pulitzer Prizes. In the Letters, Drama and Music category the winners were:

Fiction - Tinkers by Paul Harding
History - Lords of Finance: the bankers who broke the world
by T. J. Stiles
Poetry - Versed by Rae Armantrout

And finally, back to Canada, the Paul Quarrington Memorial Award for Best North American Sports Books of the Year was announced this week in the National Post. Details are few, but it appears to be in recognition of Quarrington's King Leary, which according to the award's organizer is the "greatest sports book ever written".

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