Entertainment

Tiger tale, Indo-Canadian story win BC Book Prizes

Established writers and first-timers alike were honoured at a Vancouver gala for the 27th annual BC Book Prizes Thursday night.

Established writers and first-timers alike were honoured at a Vancouver gala for the 27th annual BC Book Prizes Thursday night.

Award-winning journalist and author John Vaillant earned the non-fiction prize for his latest title The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival.

Vancouver journalist and author John Vaillant picked up the non-fiction prize for his latest book, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. ((B.C. Achievement Foundation))

The book also won British Columbia's lucrative National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction in January. It delves into many issues — Chinese-Russian relations, poaching, poverty, man's attempt to dominate nature — all while recounting the gripping tale of a man-eating Siberian tiger who prowled through a remote corner of eastern Russia in 1997, tracked by a former soldier-turned-conservationist.

Vaillant was previously acclaimed for his book debut The Golden Spruce:A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed.

Debut novellist Gurjinder Basran won the fiction prize for her book Everything Was Good-byeBased on her own experiences growing up Indo-Canadian in Vancouver, the drama tells the story of a young Punjabi-Canadian woman struggling against the expectations of her traditional mother.

CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence was also among the evening's winners for his first book, Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound. Winner of the Booksellers' Choice Award, the humorous story collection is based on Lawrence's time spent in Desolation Sound on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast.

B.C. poet George Bowering, seen with former goveror general Adrienne Clarkson in 2003, was honoured Thursday with the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Other winners included:

  • Children's literature: Hunger Journeys, by Maggie de Vries.
  • Illustrated children's literature: Owls See Clearly at Night: A Michif Alphabet, by Julie Flett.
  • Poetry: On the Material, by Stephen Collis.
  • Regional: Images from the Likeness House, by Dan Savard.

The ceremony also included a tribute to former poet laureate, writer, editor and professor George Bowering, who was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence.

Each category carries a cash prize of $2,000, with the exception of the Lieutenant Governor's Award, which is worth $5,000.

now