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Author Vincent Lam is sort of a modern-day Anton Chekhov.
Obviously, that's a pretty big comparison. Chekhov is one of the greatest short-story writers in history, but he and Lam share something in common: along with being a writer, Chekhov was a doctor. And so is Vincent Lam.
In 2006, Vincent won the prestigious Giller Prize for his first book of short stories, drawn from his experiences in the E.R.: 'Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures'. As shocked as he was to win, Vincent always wanted to be a writer.
He grew up in Ottawa - the son of Chinese immigrants from Vietnam. At around 14 or 15, he sat down to write - but realized he needed to learn about the real world before he could write about it. So, Vincent got into medicine.
Eventually, working as a doctor on an eco-tourism ship in the Arctic, he met the great Margaret Atwood. She agreed to read Vincent's early work, and the rest is history. Since his big Giller win, he's written a book about the Father of Medicare, Tommy Douglas.
And now Vincent has written his first novel, in part inspired by his notorious grandfather - a high-stakes gambler who lived in Saigon during the Vietnam War. 'The Headmaster's Wager' is a story about love and betrayal, duty and sacrifice, and one man's desperate search for redemption.