Nanaimo native Tamas Dobozy won the $25,000 Rogers Writers' Trust of Canada Fiction Prize Wednesday night.
Dobozy, 43, was awarded the prize in Toronto for his book of short stories Siege 13, published by Thomas Allen Publishers.
The collection documents the bloody siege of Budapest during the Second World War and its legacy for survivors.
The jury wrote: "Siege 13 spans continents and decades, and in doing so illustrates once again that old maxim: the short story can be both as broad and as deep as a novel. These stories are never less than breathtaking."
Siege 13 is Dobozy's third collection of stories. This marks
the first major prize of his career. Dobozy, who was born in Nanaimo, now lives in Kitchener, Ont., and teaches in the department of English and film studies at Sir Wilfred Laurier University. After receiving his PhD in English from the University of British Columbia, he taught at Memorial University in Newfoundland. His work has been published in journals throughout North America.
The Writers' Trust of Canada awarded more than $100,000 to Canadian writers at the 12th annual Writers' Trust Awards, held at Toronto's Isabel Bader Theatre. It is one of the richest literary prize-giving events in Canada.
Other winners included Nino Ricco (Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award, $25,000), Jean Little (Matt Cohen Award, $20,000), Paul Yee (Vicky Metcalf Award, $20,000), Alex Pugsley (Writers' Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, $10,000).
The winner and finalists were chosen by a jury composed of Esi Edugyan, Lynn Coady and Drew Hayden Taylor. They read 116 books from 45 publishers.
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