Adoption memoir wins $25,000 Kobzar Award for Ukrainian Canadian literature

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Maurice Mierau, winner of the 2016 Kobzar Literary Award, with juror Karen Connelly and Shevchenko Foundation president Andrew Hladyshewsky. (Andrew Lahodynskyj/LahoPhoto.com)

Detachment: An Adoption Memoir was awarded the Kobzar Literary Award at a gala dinner in Toronto on Wednesday. The award is presented every two years by the Shevchenko Foundation, and recognizes "a Canadian writer who most effectively presents a Ukrainian Canadian theme through poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction or young people's literature."

Detachment is Winnipeg writer Maurice Mierau's account of adopting two young brothers from Ukraine. In a press release, the Shevchenko Foundation's director of literary arts Dr. Christine Turkewych says, "Mierau's narrative grips our hearts... and confronts the challenges of parenting children as they adapt to a new family in Canada." Detachment has also won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and a 2015 Alberta Book Award.

Mierau announced his win, and shared a photo of the trophy, on Twitter.

The prize carries a $20,000 purse for the winning author, plus a $5,000 award for the book's publisher, Freehand Books. 

Four shortlisted authors each received $1,500 prizes: Grant Buday for The Delusionist, Orest T. Martynowych for The Showman and the Ukrainian Cause: Folk Dance, Film and the Life of Vasile Avramenko, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch for Underground Soldier, and Stacey Zembrzycki for According to Baba: A Collaborative Oral History of Sudbury's Ukrainian Community
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