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Recipient of the Gabrielle Roy Prize 2011

Herb Wyile

Anne of Tim Hortons: Globalization and the Reshaping of Atlantic-Canadian Literature, published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press

The Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures (ACQL) is pleased to announce that the 2011 Gabrielle Roy Prize (English Section), which each year honours the best work of Canadian literary criticism published in English, has been awarded to Herb Wyile for Anne of Tim Hortons: Globalization and the Reshaping of Atlantic-Canadian Literature, published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Thebook was chosen by a jury composed of David Creelman (UNB,Saint John), Carrie Dawson(Dalhousie University), and Cynthia Sugars (jury chair, University of Ottawa) from among twenty-three books submitted for this year’s prize. Wyile’s study constitutes an outstanding contribution to Canadian literary scholarship and has the potential to set the study of Atlantic-Canadian Literature on a significantly new path.  Anne of Tim Hortons demonstrates how the shift toward neo-liberalism has shaped the politics and culture of the Atlantic region. It proceeds through a careful and sensitive critique of a wide variety of writers from the east coast, offering a significant contribution to the analysis of regionalism in Canada.  The book demonstrates the complexity with which contemporary Atlantic-Canadian writers engage with the nostalgia industry in self-consciously critical ways as a response to the increasing pressures of a national, and indeed global, neo-liberal ideology.

The jury would also like to congratulate the three shortlisted finalists in this year’s competition: Brian Busby for A Gentleman of Pleasure: One Life of John Glassco, Poet, Memoirist, Translator, and Pornographer (McGill-Queen’s UP); Alan Filewod for Committing Theatre: Theatre Radicalism and Political Intervention in Canada (Between the Lines Press); and Sophie McCall for First Person Plural: Aboriginal Storytelling and the Ethics of Collaborative Authorship (UBC Press). Brian Busby’s biography of John Glassco is an elegant and impressively researched study that offers more than a chronicle of the main events of Glassco’s life; A Gentleman of Pleasure captures the tone of the different eras through which Glassco moved and is imprinted with the anxieties and difficulties of an uncentered writer emerging in the midst of the emptiness of the modernist era.  In Committing Theatre, Alan Filewod draws on a wealth of firsthand experience and archival material to produce an engaging overview of activist theatre in Canada; the book constitutes a major reconsideration of Canadian theatre work that will influence the way we approach Canadian theatre/performance in the future.  Sophie McCall’s First Person Plural is an original and timely study of the often misunderstood topic of Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal collaboration, offering a far-reaching examination of the meaning and politics of cross-cultural literary collaboration that is praiseworthy for its careful attention to the ways in which literature responds to a range of public discourses.