Campus News

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

News Release

May 05, 2004

U of G English prof triumphs at Trillium Book Awards

University of Guelph English professor Thomas King has won Ontario’s premiere prize for literary excellence, the Trillium Book Award.

King’s book The Truth About Stories, published from his 2003 Canada Massey Lectures, beat out five other books nominated for the prestigious prize in the English-language category. Winners were announced Tuesday during a ceremony at Toronto's St. Lawrence Hall by Ontario’s Culture Minister Madeleine Meilleur. King receives a $20,000 prize and his publisher, House of Anansi Press, gets $2,500.

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, 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.

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.

Other Trillium finalists in the English books category were: 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 Giller Prize-winner M.G. Vassanji, The In-Between World of Vikram Lall.

Former U of G School of Languages and Literatures professor Francois Pare tied for first-place in the French-language category for his book La Distance habitee. He will share the prize with Serge Denis, who wrote Social-democratie et mouvements ouvriers. Other French finalists were Franco Catanzariti, Sahel; Margaret Michele Cook, En un tour de mainand; and Gabrielle Poulin, Ombres et lueurs.

The Trillium Book Awards 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.

Independent industry peer juries selected this year’s winners from more than 300 submissions. Previous winners have included world-renowned authors such as Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Jane Urquhart and Maurice Henri.

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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