Thursday, November 08, 2018

History at the Writers' Trust Prizes: Christopher Paul Curtis

It was not all memoir in the noms for the Hilary Weston Nonfiction Prize awarded by the Writers' Trust last night, but indeed not much history again, and Elizabeth Gray's memoir was indeed the winner. (It's the Charles Taylor Nonfiction Prize, I think, that has rewarded  historians in recent years: Richard Gwyn, Tim Cook, Ross King....)

But writing about the Canadian past came up in the Vicky Metcalf Award -- given for a body of work in literature for children.  The winner was Christopher Paul Curtis, honoured for his admired and popular novels about the black experience in Canada in the nineteenth century.

Curtis, in his acceptance speech, described his thirteen years on an autobody assembly line in Flint, Michigan, writing on his break periods  -- not a common historical or writerly apprenticeship any more, I guess.

(My fave among the literary bunfights of fall, the Writers's Trust Awards. Writers getting honours and casth in a room full of writers, what's not to like?)
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