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One Story, One Song wins the 2011 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature.

One Story, One Song wins the 2011 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature.

September 2011

Richard Wagamese chosen as the winner of the eighth annual George Ryga Award.

Douglas & McIntyre is delighted to announce that Richard Wagamese’s One Story, One Song has won the 2011 George Ryga Award. This literary prize is granted to a B.C. writer who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness in a new book published in the preceding calendar year. The judge, Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press, selected from a shortlist of five titles assembled by a panel of readers. He said the following about One Story, One Song:

"Of all the books which made the shortlist, I found that One Story, One Song best answered the award's criteria for a book that was outstanding both as a literary work and in its presentation of social and cultural issues. Wagamese artfully weaves sixty-some short essays into an unpretentious philosophy of life rooted in personal observations and experiences, transposing an understanding of traditional Ojibway principles (humility, trust, introspection and wisdom) into modern-day life. Though drawing unflinchingly on his experiences as a native man, a child of residential school survivors, a homeless person and an addict, Wagamese writes with honesty and pathos without becoming ensnared in sentimentality. Yet it is not a book focused on hardships, victimhood or survival; rather, One Story, One Song is a frank and frequently mirthful testament to the prospect of a way forward; a reminder of our responsibility to live principled lives. For this reason, I have decided to recommend it for the George Ryga Award."

The four competing titles were A Room in the City by Gabor Gasztonyi (Anvil); Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater, by Sylvia Olsen (SonoNis); Invisible Chains, by Benjamin Perrin (Penguin) and The Tiger by John Vaillant (Knopf).

One Story, One Song is a new collection of warm, wise and inspiring stories from the author of the bestselling One Native Life. In this new book, Richard Wagamese again invites readers to accompany him on his travels. This time, his focus is on stories: how they shape us, how they empower us, how they change our lives. Ancient and contemporary, cultural and spiritual, funny and sad, the tales are grouped according to the four Ojibway storytelling principles: balance, harmony, knowledge and intuition.

Richard Wagamese will accept his award at a gala held on the evening of October 1st in Summerland, B.C.

Read more about One Story, One Song >>