Janice Kulyk Keefer Named Recipient of $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award for 2008

    TORONTO, March 7 /CNW/ - Renowned Canadian author Janice Kulyk Keefer has
been named the winner of the $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award for her acclaimed
novel The Ladies' Lending Library (Harpers Collins, 2007).
    Kulyk Keefer, a previous multiple nominee for the Governor General's
Award for Literature, accepted the Kobzar Award on March 6 from Andrew
Hladyshevsky, Q.C., president of the Shevchenko Foundation, sponsor of the
Award, at a gala ceremony attended by more than 300 guests at the Palais
Royale ballroom in Toronto.
    Set in the summer of 1963, The Ladies' Lending Library recounts the
awakening of a close-knit group of women preparing to draw another summer
season to a close amidst the relaxed ambiance of central Ontario cottage
country, where their days are ruled by the predictable rhythms of children and
chores, and lightened by the racy books they share and their Friday afternoon
gatherings for gin and gossip. The women share a Ukrainian heritage and its
diverse experiences as post-war immigrants, and face the challenges of raising
their children in a new socio-cultural context, foreign to them, yet
liberating from the trauma of the past. Behind the façade of summer routines
brew passions, old rages, and jealousies, as well as opportunities to move
beyond traditional expectations and embrace happiness.
    Kulyk Keefer is a recipient of the Marian Engel Award, the Canadian
Authors Association Award for Poetry, two prizes from the CBC Radio Literary
Competition and several National Magazine Awards. A resident of Toronto, she
teaches literature and theatre in the graduate studies department of the
University of Guelph.

    The biennial Kobzar Literary Award recognizes outstanding contributions
to Canadian literary arts through the author's presentation of a Ukrainian
Canadian theme with literary merit. Categories include: non-fiction, fiction,
young people's literature, poetry, plays, screenplays or musicals.
    Laura Langston, author of the novel Lesia's Dream, and Danny Schur,
composer and producer of the theatrical production STRIKE! - The Musical, were
co-recipients of the 2006 Kobzar Literary Award.
    Other finalists for the 2008 Kobzar Literary Award included Marusya
Bociurkiw, of Toronto, for Comfort Food for Breakups: The Memoir of a Hungry
Girl; Roman Fodchuk, of Calgary, for Zhorna: Material Culture of the Ukrainian
Pioneers, and Lisa Grekul, of Kelowna, BC, for Leaving Shadows: Literature in
English by Canada's Ukrainians.
    The four-member judging panel for the 2008 Kobzar Literary Award included
author and playwright Sharon Butala; author and educator Prof. Modris
Eksteins; author and broadcast journalist Laura Langston, and editor, author
and literary critic John Metcalf.

For further information:

For further information: Christine Turkewych, Ph.D., Program Director,
Kobzar Literary Award and Program, Telephone: (416) 243-0122, E-mail:

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