Monday, December 1, 2008

Saskatchewan Book Awards, The Trouble With Lions

The Saskatchewan Book Awards gala (check their web site) was held in Regina over the weekend. Over 450 folks attended, and the organizers really laid on a big bash, with books short-listed in thirteen categories from 261 published this year in a province with a population of just about 1 million. If one computes that on the basis of an author producing work once in four years it comes to about 1000 published authors, which is a pretty amazing stat.

The Trouble With Lions was short-listed in two categories, and I have added a scan that shows each of those, with the names of the other authors and the brief notes made by the jurors about each one. Just looking at the comments on my own work I was astonished to see how the book had affected the two groups of jurors. Here is the Saskatoon book list If one reads the comments one might think that they had read two completely different books! And here is the nonfiction list

The winners in my categories were Donna Caruso, for her Journey Without A Map, Growing Up Italian: A Memoir, (Thistledown Press) (Non-Fiction) and Louise Bernice Halfe, The Crooked Good, (Coteau Books) (Saskatoon Book).

Both are super books, and it was great to be in the company of so many gifted folks. One of the highlights of the evening for me was the fact that the keynote speaker, Maria Campbell, is both an author and a storyteller. I think that sometimes we forget how closely these two disciplines are linked, but one of our most iconic authors, Robertson Davies, did not forget. In The Merry Heart he wrote
“The author today is the descendant of the storyteller who went into the market-place, sat himself down upon his mat, and beat upon his collection bowl, crying, “Give me a copper coin and I will tell you a golden tale!”


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the nomination.

Too true about storytelling. If writers are not good storytellers, they're probably not giving their readers everything they want.

Jerry Haigh said...

Thanks Eric,
Right on about storytelling
I've been trying to get the scans into the "landscape view, as opposed to appearing sideways, but the machine is having a hissy fit.