Canada-Japan Literary Awards go to Darcy Tamayose, André Duhaime and André Girard
Ottawa, October 28, 2008 – The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the names of the winners of the 2008 Canada-Japan Literary Awards. The English-language winning work is Odori, a novel by Darcy Tamayose, of Lethbridge, Alberta. The French-language winning work is Marcher le silence – Carnets du Japon, a travel story
co-written by André Duhaime, of Gatineau (Quebec), and André Girard, of La Baie (Quebec).
The Canada-Japan Literary Awards recognize literary excellence by Canadian authors writing on Japan, Japanese themes or themes that promote mutual understanding between Japan and Canada. The funds for these awards come from the investment return on that portion of the Japan-Canada Fund set aside as an endowment in perpetuity for a literary award. The amount of $20,000 was available for this year's award. Ms. Tamayose will receive a cheque for $10,000, and Mr. Duhaime and Mr. Girard will share a $10 000 cheque.
Images of the winners and their books can be downloaded from the Canada Council image gallery.
This year, the jury members for the English-language book were
Roo Borson (Toronto), Marilyn Iwama (Ottawa) and Tamio Wakayama (Vancouver). The jury members for the French-language book were Bernard Bernier (Montreal), Misa Hirai (Blainville, QC) and
Madeleine Monette (New York).
Odori by Darcy Tamayose
In awarding the prize to Ms. Tamayose, the jury members said, "With Odori, Darcy Tamayose offers the first novelistic telling of the Okinawan diaspora in Canada. Odori traces a thread from the flourishing present of Okinawan communities in Alberta back through the terror of the Second World War's Battle of Okinawa and the golden age of
16th-century Ryu-kyu- (Okinawa) to the stories of the islands' origin. In the tradition of the Japanese Canadian prairie gothic articulated by Joy Kogawa and Hiromi Goto, Tamayose interweaves Okinawan myth, storytelling and dance (odori/udui) with events of the present day, magically joining in spirit a piece of Southern Alberta with these islands of the East China Sea."
Southern Alberta writer and graphic designer, Darcy Tamayose works for the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge. She wrote and illustrated an art exhibit, Riding Back and the Sacred Circle, which traveled throughout the Alberta school system encouraging the understanding of the Blackfoot culture. Katie Be Quiet (Coteau Books), her first foray into youth novels was released in 2008. Ms. Tamayose's debut novel, Odori (Cormorant Books), was published in the spring of 2007 and was a finalist for the 2008 Alberta Literary Awards'
Georges Bugnet Award for Novel. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Marcher le silence – Carnets du Japon by
André Duhaime and André Girard
É ditions Leméac, collection "Ici l'ailleurs
In awarding the prize to the authors, the jury members said,
" Marcher le silence – Carnets du Japon is a Japanese-style travel diary, written by four hands; it is a haibun composed of short prose texts and haiku. From Tokyo to Takayama, from the bustling city to the heights of a forgotten Japan, André Duhaime and André Girard share with us their close encounter with Japan. Beyond their delight in these new surroundings, they tell of their desire for surprise which is also a desire for the other, their touching embrace of a country that they reveal to us, as footsteps and days progress, in its varied landscapes, modern and immemorial culture, and the evocative details of daily life. Here, in these pages, everything seems captured from life. And poetry seems to flow naturally, so authentic that one would swear that Japan is poetry. Or that over there, exquisite poetry and precise prose cohabit with reality."
Born in 1948 in Montreal, André Duhaime has lived in the Outaouais since 1971. He uses classical forms of Japanese poetry (haiku, renku, tanka and haibun), wanting to make them familiar to Western, or Canadian, sensibility. Since the publication of the Haïkus d'ici collection (Éditions Asticou, 1981), he has published some twenty works (collections, albums for children and anthologies), written various educational articles to make these poetic forms better known, and led writing workshops. For the last ten years or so, he has been the literary director of the Haïku sans frontières website, co-founded with
Winner of the 1991 Prix Robert-Cliche, André Girard lives in La Baie in the Saguenay region. Mr. Girard has a master's degree in literary studies completed under the direction of scholar Jacques Allard (UQAM, 1994), and in June 2008, he defended a doctoral thesis in literary creation at Université Laval under the direction of writer
Neil Bissoondath. His fifth novel, entitled Port-Alfred Plaza, was published by Québec Amérique in 2007; the tandem writing of Marcher le silence – Carnets du Japon is the author's first brush with poetic prose. Mr. Girard teaches French and literature at the Cégep de Chicoutimi.
In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts, the Canada Council for the Arts administers and awards many prizes and fellowships in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, engineering, and arts management. These prizes and fellowships recognize the achievements of outstanding Canadian artists, scholars, and administrators. The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to raising public awareness and celebration of these exceptional people and organizations on both a national and international level.
Please visit our website for a complete listing of these awards.
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