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Recent Penguin Award Winners

The World by Bill Gaston has won the 2013 Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction!

The Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize is given under the umbrella of the BC Book Prizes, which recognize outstanding writers from British Columbia across several categories. The Fiction prize is given in honour of the late Ethel Wilson, a British Columbia writer (Hetty Dorval, Love and Salt Water, The Equations of Love, Swamp Angel, etc.) who received the Canada Council Medal in 1964 as well as the Order of Canada Medal of Service in 1970 for her contribution to Canadian literature.

Bill’s win was announced at a gala dinner at Government House in Victoria, BC, this past Saturday, May 4th, along with the winners in the other categories (non-fiction, poetry, children’s literature, etc.). Each award carries a cash prize of $2,000 as well as a certificate of recognition.

» Read more about The World

Jeffrey Simpson’s Chronic Condition (Allen Lane Canada) has won the prestigious 2012 Donner Prize

Gran Cocina Latina - Maricel E. Presilla

Jeffrey’s win was announced yesterday evening in an awards ceremony here in Toronto. The Donner Prize is, again, one of the most prestigious non-fiction prizes in Canada, as well as one of the richest, with the winner taking home $50,000 and each finalist $7,500. The aim of the award is to inspire lively debate on public policy issues and to reward provocative and excellent work that speaks to an informed readership.

The Prize has this to say of the book: “Chronic Condition makes a vital contribution to the public’s understanding of the cost of health care and delivery issues, examining the tenets of the Medicare system that Canadians cling to so passionately. Breaking the silence about the changes and choices that Canadians face, Simpson has written a book that deserves to be read and discussed.”

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Joel Bakan’s Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children has won the 2013 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature!


The award, which is sponsored by Okanagan College, was announced this past Saturday at the literary festival Word Ruckus in Kelowna, BC. The Ryga Award recognizes an outstanding British Columbian author whose work explores relevant, contemporary social issues. In a press release, the award administrators made the following statement about Bakan’s work:

"Bakan’s book helps the reader understand how much businesses  like the pharmaceutical industry, multimedia organizations, and manufactured food companies  have gained access to our children’s bodies and minds, and reminds us of the responsibility we have to our children today."

Bakan will travel to Kelowna on April 8 to hold a reading and discussion about his book, at 7PM at the Bohemian Café.

The Ryga Award was established in honour of George Ryga, who is thought by many to be the father of modern playwriting in British Columbia, and whose work explored many difficult social issues and challenges of his time.

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Leanne Shapton’s Swimming Studies (Blue Rider Press) has won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the Autobiography category.

Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton

The winners were announced at a well attended ceremony in the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in New York City. The award’s website praises the book, saying it "broke a mold, rethinking the autobiography category as it presented the life of a body, reflecting on Shapton’s experience as a champion swimmer and subsequent experiences as an artist."

The National Book Critics Circle Awards aim to honour outstanding writing and to further national conversations about reading, criticism, and culture. The National Book Critics Circle was formed in 1974, with the goal of extending the famous Algonquin Round Table to a national dialogue.

For more information about the award, please click here

The film adaptation of Matt Baglio and Tony Mendez’s book Argo took home Oscars this year for best screenplay, best film editing, and the award show’s biggest category, best picture.


The true, declassified account of CIA operative Tony Mendez’s daring rescue of American hostages from Iran that inspired the critically-acclaimed film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, and co-starring John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston.

» Read more about Argo

Maggot Moon Wins Costa Children’s Book Award

Maggot Moon book, by Sally Gardner

In a press release, Gardner said the following of her win: “In all my experience since becoming a full-time writer, winning this award is the most phenomenal. I used to be an illustrator and now I paint with words; I’ve discovered exactly what words can achieve as pictures. Maggot Moon is a book Ive always wanted to write and Standish has been waiting to be written for years. It is thrilling that the story now stands defiant in the world. It is a great honour to have won this award, and for me, it goes towards proving the power of dreams.”

The Costa Book Awards, formerly known as the Whitbread Prize, recognize superb writing across five categories: novels, biographies, poetry, debut novels, and children’s literature; the winner of each category receives £5,000.00. The judges will also determine the overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award, worth £30,000, to be announced at a ceremony in London, England, on January 29th. This winner can be from any of the above-mentioned categories.

» Read more about Maggot Moon

Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen wins a Taste Canada award

Chef Michael Smiths Kitchen, by Michael Smith

Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen by Michael Smith (Penguin Canada) has won the General English Language Cookbooks category at the Taste Canada Food Writing Awards.

The awards were presented at a gala ceremony and reception in Toronto yesterday evening. Formerly known as the Canadian Culinary Book Awards, the Taste Canada awards recognize the very best in Canadian food writing across a variety of categories.

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Will Ferguson wins the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize!

419, by Will Ferguson

Congratulations to Will Ferguson for winning the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel 419! The jury citation noted “419 points in the direction of something entirely new: the Global Novel. It is a novel emotionally and physically at home in the poverty of Lagos and in the day-to-day of North America. It tells us the ways in which we are now bound together and reminds us of the things that will always keep us apart.”

» Read more about 419

Mo Yan wins the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2012

Author Mo Yan

We’re very pleased to announce that Chinese writer Mo Yan was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature this morning. His 1993 novel Red Sorghum is part of our US list, under the Viking imprint.

Mo Yan, born in 1955 in Shandong province in north-eastern China, is the author of many novels, short stories, and essays of social criticism. The Nobel Prize organization notes that “through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition.”

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 104 times since its establishment in 1901, and recognizes annually a writer who has made an outstanding contribution to literature. The awards ceremony will be held on December 10, 2012. Winners receive a medal, a diploma, and a cash award of 8 million Swedish kronor.

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