Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

March 31, 2004

U of G prof shortlisted for prestigious book award

University of Guelph English professor Thomas King has been shortlisted for the 17th annual Trillium Book Awards, Ontario’s Culture Minister Madeleine Meilleur announced today.

King’s book The Truth About Stories, published from his 2003 Canada Massey Lectures, is among six English-language and five French-language books up for the prestigious prizes.

Winners will be announced May 4.

King’s Massey Lectures, titled “The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative,” were presented last fall over nine days in five provinces. They were recorded and broadcast on the CBC Radio program Ideas.

In the lectures and book, published by House of Anansi Press, King looks at the breadth and depth of native experience and imagination and North America's relationship with its Aboriginal Peoples. He uses personal anecdotes, autobiographical experiences and academic research to explore topics such as literature, history, religion, politics, popular culture and social protest. He has described the project, which took a year and a half to complete, as “fun in an excruciating way.”

One of Canada’s most well-known and respected authors, King has written four best-selling novels and numerous television scripts and has been shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and Commonwealth Writers Prize. He also created and starred in the popular CBC Radio show The Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour.

Trillium Book Award winners receive $20,000, and winning publishers get $2,500 to promote their author. Other finalists in the English books category are: Di Brandt, Now You Care; Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, The Dark Time of Angels; Barbara Gowdy, The Romantic; Djanet Sears, Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God; and M.G. Vassanji, The In-Between World of Vikram Lall.

Former U of G School of Languages and Literatures professor Francois Pare is one of the French finalists for his book La Distance habitee. Other French finalists are: Franco Catanzariti, Sahel; Margaret Michele Cook, En un tour de main; Serge Denis, Social-democratie et mouvements ouvriers; and Gabrielle Poulin, Ombres et lueurs.

The Trillium Book Awards, considered among Canada’s most prestigious, were established by the provincial government in 1987 to recognize excellence and increase public awareness of the quality and diversity of Ontario writers and writing.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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