TORONTO, November 7, 2012 —– At a ceremony in Toronto’s Isabel Bader Theatre tonight, Nino Ricci was presented with the $25,000 Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Prize, awarded to a writer in mid-career for a body of work.
The award, presented as part of a ceremony that included the awarding of five other prizes and the distribution of a total of $114,000 to Canadian writers, is sponsored by the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Board of Directors, Amazon.ca, and David Ellins. Past recipients include Michael Winter, Miriam Toews, and Wayne Johnston.
“One sometimes hears grumbling in the world at large that there are too many literary prizes,” Ricci said in his acceptance speech, “but what such grumbling fails to take into account is that other professions have perks writers don’t. They’re called incomes.”
This year’s prize was juried by writers Stan Dragland, Wayne Johnston, and Miriam Toews. “Nino Ricci’s prose embodies a sweeping range of talent and technique,” they wrote in their citation. “There are layers upon layers of meaning within his stories, all of which are presented with profound empathy, with compassion not only for his characters, but also for the messy human condition in which we invariably find ourselves. His writing is elegant and understated but driven by an urgent and confident hand. Whether he is examining the life of Jesus or an adulterous Italian mother or a self-loathing academic, Nino Ricci is a superb story-teller. Each of his books is a rare and delicious cocktail. In them a particular time and place is richly brought alive and made palpable, a challenge to the intellect and an exploration of the soul.”
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