Shortlisted books announced for 10th annual George Ryga Award

Three books have made the shortlist for the prestigious George Ryga Award, an annual literary award granted to a B.C. writer who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness for a book published within the last year.

“We’re excited with the range and quality, compassion and depth of this year’s short-listed books,” says Okanagan College professor and George Ryga Award committee member, Norah Bowman-Broz.

The shortlisted books are: Adrienne Fitzpatrick’s The Earth Remembers Everything (Caitlin Press), a fictional narrative based on the Prince George author’s travels to some of the most violent sites in history, including Vietnam, Japan, Poland and historical First Nations areas.;

Bev Sellars’ They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School (Talonbooks). Hailing from Soda Creek, B.C., this non-fiction work written by the Chief of the Xat’sull First Nation recalls the experiences of three generations of women forced to attend a residential school, St. Joseph’s Mission School, in Williams Lake;

Gillian Wigmore’s Dirt of Ages (Nightwood Editions), a poetry collection by another Prince George author is written from the perspective of a meth dealer and highlights the destruction of the natural environment and the social complexities in a pulp mill town.

The George Ryga Award was created in memory of B.C. playwright and novelist George Ryga’s commitment to social justice and his contributions to Canadian literature. This award is given to B.C. authors that have not only emphasized social justice but have also demonstrated exceptional literary skill in their works.

The winner of the George Ryga Award receives a commemorative bust of Ryga, plus advertising for the winning book.

The 10th annual Ryga Award will be presented at a gala March 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus cafeteria. The event is free and will feature performances by hoop dancers; light refreshments will be served.


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