First Novel Award Celebrates 30th Anniversary
TORONTO, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - This evening, Amazon.ca and "Books in Canada"
presented the 2006 First Novel Award and a cheque for $7,500 (CDN) to
Madeleine Thien, author of "Certainty," at a ceremony held at the Vaughan
Estate at Sunnybrook in Toronto. Thien was selected to receive the award from
a group of six finalists, all of whom had their first novels published in the
The First Novel Award recognizes outstanding achievement by first-time
Canadian novelists and has served as a springboard for the careers of many of
Canada's most renowned authors. This year is the 30th anniversary of the
Award. Joseph Boyden, author of "Three Day Road," won the 2005 award; Colin
McAdam, author of "Some Great Thing," won the 2004 award; and Michel
Basilières won the 2003 award for "Black Bird." Other previous winners include
Michael Ondaatje, Rohinton Mistry, Joan Barfoot, Joy Kogawa, Wayne Johnston,
Nino Ricci and Deborah Joy Corey.
Madeleine Thien's debut book of fiction, "Simple Recipes," was published
when she was 26 years old. This collection won four awards in Canada, was a
finalist for a regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book and
was named a Notable Book by the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. Thien's first
novel, "Certainty," was a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize, and named a "Globe
and Mail" Best Book of the Year. "Certainty" is published by McClelland &
Stewart and available at Amazon.ca (www.amazon.ca).
Joining Thien as 2006 First Novel Award finalists were Peter Behrens for
"The Law of Dreams" (House of Anansi Press), John Degen for "The Uninvited
Guest" (Nightwood Editions), Annette Lapointe for "Stolen" (Anvil Press),
Heather O'Neill for "Lullabies for Little Criminals" (Harper Collins) and Adam
Lewis Schroeder for "Empress of Asia" (Raincoast Books). All six finalists
were presented with Amazon.ca gift certificates in the amount of $750 (CDN) at
This year's finalists were selected by Nancy Wigston, a prominent
literary critic and freelance writer for more than 25 years. Wigston holds a
PhD in English from the University of Toronto, and has been contributing
reviews and interviews to "Books in Canada" since the mid-1980s. Also serving
as judges were Mary Dalton, a prominent Newfoundland poet and writer, who
teaches at the Department of English at Memorial University; John Moss, a
prominent author and academic, who is on the faculty of the University of
Ottawa and a Conjunct Professor at Trent University in Peterborough; Val Ross,
a nationally prominent journalist and arts critic who has won a National
Newspaper award; and Sean Virgo, an author of a dozen books, and winner of
CBC, BBC and National Magazine awards.
"Amazon.ca would like to thank and congratulate all of the talented
novelists who participated in the 2006 First Novel Award process," said Julie
Todaro, director, Amazon.ca. "We continue to be inspired by the many emerging
authors who embody Canada's rich and longstanding literary history. Amazon.ca
remains committed to providing a platform through which literary fans
everywhere can discover their work."
"Books in Canada" will be accepting submissions for the 2007 First Novel
Award until December 31, 2007.
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