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Local authors up for Ryga award

There are several local connections to the finalists for the annual George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature.

Kamloops author Richard Wagamese is a finalist for his book One Story, One Song.

Paul Lake resident Benjamin Perrin is nominated for his book Invisible Chains, which looks at human trafficking in Canada and includes the story of former Kamloops resident Jessie Foster, who disappeared several years ago in Las Vegas.

Kamloops resident and former KTW columnist Sylvia Olsen is a finalist for her book Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater.

Rounding out the finalists are Gabor Gasztonyi for A Room in the City and John Vaillant for The Tiger.

Traditionally, only three authors are considered for the award, but the shortlist was expanded to five because of the volume of entries.

Matt Kavanagh, chairman of the department of English at Okanagan College, which co-sponsors the award with the George Ryga Society, said there were 57 entries this year.

The award will be presented on Oct. 1 in Summerland.

Tickets for the awards event, which will include a performance by Dorian Kohl in Ryga’s adaptation of The Stone Angel, by Margaret Laurence, are $20 and available by calling Martin’s Flowers in Summerland at 250-494-5432, The Dragon’s Den in Penticton at 250-492-3011 and the college bookstore at 250-862-5622.

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