Recipient of the Gabrielle Roy Prize 2007
Carole Gerson and Jacques Michon
History of the Book in Canada (1918-1980) published by the University of Toronto Press.
The Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures (ACQL) is pleased to award the Gabrielle Roy Prize (English section), which each year honours the best work of literary criticism published in English, to Carole Gerson and Jacques Michon, for History of the Book in Canada (1918-1980) published by the University of Toronto Press. Exceptionally this year, the jury has unanimously voted to honour all three volumes of the History of the Book in Canada project, a collective effort of considerable magnitude whose encyclopedic breadth constitutes a major contribution to scholarship on print culture in Canada.
Discussing all aspects of publishing, from presses, government agencies, distribution networks and market forces, to the changing aesthetic, ideological and political climate of the nation, The History of the Book in Canada (1918-1980) traces how, as the editors have put it, “internal and external forces – social, political, intellectual, and commercial – have shaped the world of the book in Canada.” Among the vast number of topics covered in the volume are the changing roles of authors and presses, regional publishing, religion and print culture, design and graphic arts, censorship, and the role of libraries in dissemination and archival. The History of the Book in Canada (1918-1980) also traces the historical developments, which have influenced print culture in twentieth century, including the modernization and liberalization of Québec in the 1960s, the changing demographics of Canada’s population, and nation’s official policies of bilingualism and multiculturalism. The development of major cultural institutions, such as the Canada Council for the Arts, the National Library of Canada, the CBC, university presses, and the institutionalization of Canadian studies as a field of scholarly inquiry have all contributed to the production and dissemination of the book in Canada. The emergence of small presses, magazines, newspapers, literary prizes as well as publishing by Aboriginal and ethnic communities also helped fostered a multitude of voices in Canada, and have helped to shape the stories we tell about ourselves.